ATV runs a Letterbox contact service in which birth parents, relatives and adoptive parents or special guardians write to one another to share information about their own and the child(ren)’s life. It is a formal arrangement which is managed by ATV on behalf of the local authority in order to ensure that all letter exchanges are safe and appropriate for the child in question.
Letterbox contact is often part of a formal adoption plan and is sometimes recommended in a special guardianship support plan. Letterbox contact is made between the adults on behalf of the child, however the child may wish to contribute to the exchange with letters or pictures of their own. Adoptive parents or special guardians can make the decision when and whether to share letters with the child, depending on their understanding and emotional readiness.
Addresses are not shared between birth parents and adoptive parents, and all letters are checked by Letterbox administrators to ensure that they are suitable and comply with the agreed arrangement for each child.
If you would like to contact us about an existing Letterbox arrangement please call your local Letterbox office:
Oxfordshire - 01865 323114
Swindon – 01865 894726
Reading, Bracknell, West Berks, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham – 01865 894722
Please be aware that Letterbox office hours are limited. If your call is not answered, please leave a message and a Letterbox administrator will get back to you when they are able.
If you are considering whether a Letterbox arrangement could be right for your family, please contact the Helpdesk.
Support for all affected by adoption
The Permanence Support Team run a helpdesk, where a social worker will be available to talk to adoptive parents and special guardians. You can contact us either by telephone, email or by writing to us. The adoption helpdesk is there to help us help you.
Call 01865 897981
If only a simple, one-off service is needed, this may be provided without a formal adoption support plan being drawn up. If, following assessment, there is a need for ongoing adoption support, we will draw up a plan of what services we propose to offer. The plan will be reviewed periodically.
Course costs are met by Adopt Thames Valley for adopters approved by us and/or for adopters resident in Oxfordshire where their children were adopted more than three years ago. View information of the training we offer.