Becoming an adoptive parent is rewarding, fulfilling and fun, but can be tiring and demanding. Sometimes adopted children have additional needs and many adoptive families benefit from some help and advice at different stages in their family life.
Nearly half (47%) of the children in the Wales Adoption Study had experienced four or more Adverse Childhood Experiences before they were placed for adoption. These early experiences have implications for later life and access to relevant support throughout the process for everyone involved in adoption is important from recruitment stages through to keeping placement breakdown low and to make sure that adoption works well for the child and the whole family.
Suzanne Griffiths, Director of Operations for the National Adoption Service for Wales (NAS) said: “We are pleased that children are facing fewer delays and that all agencies actively support adopters from the very beginning to understand the needs of the children who need or are likely to need adoptive families. We encourage people thinking about adopting to come to the process with an open mind and considering the needs of children who are waiting to be adopted.
“We want to ensure that useful information about adoption support is easy to access and directs people to the right service whether they need a specialist advice or an assessment for support.
“I am particularly proud of the work we have done with adopted children, young people and their parents to ensure the changes we propose are what they want and need. We used their feedback to help make education services more ‘adoption aware’ through resources and training, foster closer working links between Regions and Children and Adolescent Mental Health services (CAMHS) and finalised a framework for life journey work.
“The Adoption Support Framework has been agreed by the National Adoption Service’s Advisory Group and Governance Board, local delivery of adoption support is being developed and we have been working on a business case for it. Alongside this we have continued to advise and lobby on the right laws and policies for developing adoption support. We are aware of the work that is still ahead of us and now we have a baseline to assess improvements being made to adoption support.”
The Annual Report launches today with the support of the five regional adoption collaboratives and voluntary adoption agencies, After Adoption, Adoption UK, Barnardo’s Cymru and St David’s Children Society and AFA Cymru.
The work of the National Adoption Service and its Governance Board is supported and advised by an Independent Advisory group. Phil Hodgson MBE, Chair of the Advisory Group commented: “The Annual Report reflects well on the work of those involved in adoption work in Wales and shows commitment to deliver relevant and dynamic adoption services. Adopters and children have made important contribution in providing clarity about their experiences and how services could and should look like.
The Report gives an opportunity to reflect on achievements whilst acknowledging that there is more to be done. We will continue to work collaboratively and collectively to deliver a positive response to the needs of children, young people and adopters.”