Update on our services in the current Covid-19 pandemic
We hope everyone is continuing to keep safe and well at this difficult time. Our priority is to continue to ensure that our children and families remain safe and are supported.
Please be assured that adoption services across Wales are working within UK and Welsh Government and Public Health Wales guidelines to continue to provide as many of our services as we can. However, this has resulted in us needing to provide some services in a different way as we switch to staff working remotely or from home.
Below outlines how we plan to continue with everyone’s safety in mind. We will keep this page updated as and when there are any significant changes. Please bear with us as things may continue to change.
Should you need specific parenting or adoption advice, Adoption UK’s Wales helpline is open. You can call on 02920 230319 or email email@example.com. There is also advice, information and resources geared to supporting families during the Covid-19 situation here.
If you have any major health concerns regarding the Coronavirus, please also visit the NHS website.
Please see our Adoption Support section for further information.
Adoption services across Wales
Our Regional and Voluntary Adoption Agency staff are continuing to deliver their services. The majority of offices are now closed to the public, but staff are available via e-mail, telephone and increasingly video conferencing. Face-to-face visits are now only taking place in very urgent situations and these will be risk assessed, in terms of the staff, people and places visited, using current public health guidance.
Recruitment visits and assessments
These have now switched to mainly video or telephone sessions with staff keeping in touch and providing information as required.
Panels will continue to focus on essential business such as approvals and matching children with prospective adopters although they will be carried out via video or conference calls. Adoptive parents and prospective adopters will be asked to join via video/telephone calls.
Adoption Register Wales
Use of the Adoption Register Wales will be unaffected but it may be that discussions with Social Workers may take a little longer than usual. Please bear with us as staff make the necessary adjustments. They will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
Matching, and placement introductions
Matching meetings will happen by telephone, video calls and written reports.
Commencing introductions and moving children into placements is challenging in the current climate. A framework has been developed to support Welsh adoption services to consider whether this is possible on an individual case-by-case basis and with the authority responsible for the child; this framework adheres to Government/Public Health advice while also meeting necessary legal guidelines. Services aim to keep everyone informed but if you have any queries about how you are affected by this this please speak to your Social Worker.
Adoptive families and professionals should contact their regional or voluntary adoption service to access the range of adoption support services that can be made available. Advice on this is available on this website or directly from services themselves.
Additionally, should families need specific parenting or adoption advice, Adoption UK’s Wales helpline is open to all adoptive families via 02920 230319 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Services across Wales have adapted to continue to provide services safely during this health emergency; this includes new services funded by the Welsh Government such as the TESSA services provided in partnership by local authorities and Adoption UK.
Our intention is to continue to move children in line with any agreed plans, necessary risk assessments and Public Health advice but this may change as the situation changes. We will do our very best to keep all those affected involved.
Visits to children and families
Families who urgently require visits, particularly for adoption support, will be prioritised according to need. Where advice and or remote contact is possible, support will be offered that way. Where it is necessary to visit, risk assessments will be undertaken.
Preparation and other training for adopters
Preparation, and other training, is now being provided through video conferencing or other facilities. This has already happened in a number of services while others are putting plans in place to make this available as soon as possible.
A resource pack, with reading and other exercises that prospective adopters can do themselves, will soon be available on line. This will support prospective adopters in the early stage of their assessment to think about some of the issues they may encounter and is linked to the social work assessment.
The NAS post approval training has also been put on line so those adopters that wish to work through this themselves can do so. As above this and other training/development activity for approved adopters is being provided by services through video conferencing.
Whilst these are unusual times for everyone, we are still here for anyone about to start or are already on their adoption journey, via phone or email. Please call or email the region for your local area, or one of the Voluntary Adoption Agencies, if you are already connected to them with any questions.