Hello, my name is Phil Hodgson and I chair The National Adoption Service (NAS) Advisory Group.
During the last 18 months I have been fortunate and grateful to have met adopters, adopted children, and managers & practitioners across voluntary adoption agencies, public sector organisations and academics.
My background is in social work in the statutory and voluntary sectors. I lived in Wales when I qualified as a social worker in the late 1970’s and have worked in England and Wales during my career. My home is in the Brecon Beacons and I enjoy the opportunity to walk and run in a beautiful part of the United Kingdom.
The opportunity to chair the NAS Advisory Group and meet a wide range of people involved and engaged in adoption has clearly highlighted the achievements of children, parents and professional staff. It has also sharpened focus on key issues:
- Children talk about very positive experiences in their families whilst expressing concerns about bullying, schools limited experience of understanding adoption, where and when needed consistently good access to therapy, CAMHS and ensuring their parents also have access to reliable and skilled support when required.
- Parents delight about their new family whilst, in some cases, explain the complexities of the parenting task; attachment, access to social work support that has a sophisticated understanding of adoption, schools sensitive and aware of the needs of adopted children, access to a range of quality health specialist services.
- Professional staff striving to improve the service whilst maintaining the strengths of the existing system by embracing change that focuses on good quality, accessible, interactive intervention that supports parents and children.
The National Adoption Service has successfully implemented change that has demonstrated improvement across adoption services. However, listening to and drawing on the experience of adopters and children the challenges during the next 12-18 months include:
- Post adoption support that is provided across multiple agencies; education, health, social services and voluntary agencies that is dynamic, timely and relevant.
- Access to quality training and learning for adopters, practitioners and managers that improve the adoption experience.
- Continue to engage and listen to what adopters and children say about their experience.
- Work with policy makers across Wales to achieve change that delivers a positive difference to adults and children.