23 February 1996

Right home for Matthew, please…

MATTHEW will be nine this month and no doubt this lively lad will have an enjoyable birthday but Diane Higgie of Sandwell Social Services Homefinders Team hopes it is the last he will spend in a Shropshire residential unit.

"We feel Matthew needs a family, parents with the space and temperament to give him a bit of freedom to rush about and do the outdoor things he loves to do," she says.

"This is not a boy for a childless couple to adopt, they would have too great expectations of him. We are looking for a couple who have already raised children who are now teenagers or have even grown up and left home. Matthew needs a strong mother figure who is not looking for instant return on the love she gives him. Matthew will only show his love when he comes to trust someone."

He has had distressing experiences in the past and has been in care since he was very young. He can be afraid of some men and blames women for the way he has been treated in the past. However he is a likeable boy, very robust and active, and he loves his food.

He goes to a mainstream school where he has some extra coaching to help him catch up with schooling missed in earlier years. His teachers are very pleased with his progress.

Running in the schools cross country team is one of his passions, although he has yet to be a front runner. He has recently taken up rugby with enthusiasm. He loves mountain biking and being outdoors.

Social Services has full parental rights over Matthew and has worked with him to prepare him for adoption. Matthew has no contact with his family and although his mother does write to him, these letters are kept on file for him to see when he is older.

There is no age limit on prospective parents for him and no geographical restriction. "We can visit people anywhere in the country and I would take a worker from the residential unit with me, one who knows Matthew really well, to answer all questions the prospective parents might like to ask," explains Diane Higgie, who can be contacted by telephone or letter.

As for Matthew, his wants are simple. "I want a family of my own who will keep me safe and be kind to me," he says.

If you would like to know more about adopting Matthew, contact Diane Higgie, Sandwell Social Services Homefinders Team, The Hollies Family Centre, Coopers Lane, Smethwick, West Midlands B67 7DW (0121- 5695774)

Matthew

loves being out of doors.