Hi, my name is Cherie McCormack and I have been with Barnardos for two and a half years. I am the Program Manager for the Adoptions program in the Hunter and Central Coast office. Prior to coming to Barnardos, I worked as a Caseworker and then a Case Manager at the Department of Communities and Justice. As a child, I always wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up.
What I find most rewarding about my role is being able to achieve positive permanency outcomes by finding loving families for children that need safe homes. The children in our program build such a strong attachment and trusting relationship with their potential adoptive parents and seeing them flourish in their care is always rewarding.
Open adoption is important as it maintains a connection between children and their birth family. The essence of open adoption is that the child knows they’ve been adopted and maintains a connection with their birth family through regular visits. Ideally, the birth and adoptive families build a stronger connection and embrace each other as extended family. This openness allows the child to grow and develop with the confidence of knowing where they came from.
Barnardos helps build the relationships between birth families and adoptive parents or temporary carers. From the very beginning upon entering the adoption program, the birth parents and the carers meet each other and work towards forming a connection. The carers and potential adoptive parents will start to attend all birth family visits and eventually move on to scheduling and supervising these visits independently of Case Managers. The birth parents will have an email address and a telephone number to contact the carers on and the carers will send updates of the children to the birth parents. At review meetings, the carers will be encouraged to give the parents updates about the child themselves and the parents are encouraged to ask the carers any questions that they have.
With my time at Barnardos, I would like to continue to work focused on the best interests of children and achieve whatever permanency goal is in their best interests.