I wanted to take the time to introduce myself, I’m Charlotte – the new Digital Engagement Manager for Adoption UK and a very proud Mum, to a little 22-month ball of energy, through adoption.
I have only been in post for a few weeks (this is a new role for Adoption UK), and you may have seen me cropping up as DigitalAUK and my colleague Andrew as OnlineAUK over the past few weeks. I thought it was about time I introduce us properly - so “hello”!
It’s almost a year since we set up our partnership with LinkMaker and we changed to our existing Forum functionality. Both teams are aware of the problems and the frustrations that this change caused. So, I would like to start with an apology… we at AUK didn’t communicate these changes in the best way and there were far too many bugs in the system when we launched. I do know it has changed the Forum massively and many users have left. It is not where we wanted to be and certainly not how we would like to move forward.
The heart of this online community is the support, encouragement, advice and virtual friendship you give one another, and we hope that we can work with you to develop the Forum into a safe and secure online community that works for adopters and prospective adopters. Our major hope is to reinvigorate the Forum once again.
I will pop back to update you all on the changes that have taken place over the past few months. But in the meantime, I wanted to highlight why we made the changes in the first place. LinkMaker works with Adoption UK on a pro bono basis and they are as passionate about our online community as we are; although both sides of this partnership do fully accept responsibility for the issues since launch.
The new Forum was conceived to create a platform for users to:
• have new ways to find other adopters directly, based on where they are, or the age of their children, for example.
• create friend groups, find playdates and live-chat with other families in safety. You won’t come across anyone who hasn’t had a positive identity check with an adoption agency.
• find new features such as improved text formatting and emojis. All the current Forum content will remain available.
We have posted updates over the past few months about what improvements have been made following bugs in the system or following messages from you, our users.
However, not everyone has seen these updates so I will create series of posts highlighting the changes and updates made to the Forum since last year. But the Forum will always be a work in progress and whilst we will be making improvements the coming months, we will always welcome your comments and feedback. It is vital that we have a forum that works for you, so please do contact Andrew or myself on the Forum or via the email onlineteam@adoptionUK.org.uk