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Adoptive Families

Adoption can be a rewarding and fulfilling life-long commitment but also, at times demanding.

We understand that families may need support from time to time and can benefit from some help and advice at different stages. Sometimes families may have additional support needs which may require more specialist support however families do not need to be in crisis to access support. Importantly, all adoptive families are entitled to request an assessment of adoption support needs. 

Adoptive families can access the following support:

  • Telephone advice and information provided by our duty team: 0800 023 4064
  • Information: signposting to website, leaflets, relevant services and resources
  • Advice and support relating to letterbox, direct contact and social media risks
  • Monthly toddler groups for families with pre-school aged children
  • Opportunities to connect with other adopters through events such as quiz nights, local meet ups, WhatsApp connect groups 
  • A mailing system for our adopters. We use this to share regular updates about, adoption support, activities, events and news from ourselves and our partners and opportunities to take part in the adoption community locally and nationally
  • Bi-annual fun days with lots of activities for children and the opportunity to meet with other adoptive families
  • A  year’s free membership to Adoption UK 
  • Inhouse training provided by our Adoption Support Team 
  • A ‘Buddy System’ where we can set you up with other adoptive families who may have shared experiences or who are at a different stage of the adoption journey
    • We are members of New Family Social (an organisation that supports LGBT+ adopters across the UK) and will let you know about upcoming events and support they provide
    • Advice and support through the TESSA programme (run in partnership with Adoption UK), TESSA Guide for Adoptive Parents
    • Regular updates about opportunities to take part and share your experiences of adoption locally and nationally 
    • Access to our dedicated Children and Young People’s Coordinator who can connect your child with other adopted children and services such as Connected
    • Support through the Adoption UK, First 1000 Days Project


Adopted Adults

If you are an adopted adult you may wish to access information relating to your adoption and your birth family.

Birth Families

Adopted adults or birth relatives of an adopted person may request an intermediary service.

Assessment and ongoing support

Dependent upon your family’s needs, you may also benefit from having a social worker to support you for a period of time or it may be appropriate for your child to receive specialist therapeutic support. These services may be provided following an assessment of adoption support needs.

The assessment can consider the need for:

  • Counselling, information and advice
  • Training to provide you with further understanding of your child’s needs
  • Support groups, meetings and events with adopters and / or adoptive children
  • Support with behavioural, attachment and other difficulties your child may experience
  • Support with contact between your child and their birth family
  • Financial support
  • Short breaks for an adopted child with another carer
  • Help where adoption breaks down or is at risk of breaking down

An assessment would involve a social worker meeting with you and your child  to discuss your views on your family’s well-being and support needs. They may need to liaise with Education and Health services to gather further information

Following the assessment, the adoption social worker will discuss with you their recommendations and agree any next steps. A social worker will remain working with your family until there is no longer a need for this support.

We work holistically and consider the needs of the whole family. Our practice is informed by the principles of attachment focussed parenting. This incorporates concepts such as parenting using ‘PACE’.

Our aim is to:

  • Support families to understand and manage behaviour which may be linked to early trauma 
  • Address difficulties related to grief and loss through adoption and build positive family relationships
  • Support families in talking to their child about adoption; helping them to understand their story and assisting with identity issues

We can also support with advice on education and other adoption issues you may be experiencing.

How specialist support is arranged

Vale Valleys and Cardiff is an adoption collaborative serving four local authority areas: Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Often we will be able to support your family’s needs through our in-house Adoption Support Team however where the identified support needs require another service, we work with your local authority area to identify the right service to meet your family’s needs and to seek funding for this. It is your local authority which makes the decision regarding funding for adoption support services rather than the adoption collaborative.

We will seek to keep you informed of the decision-making process. Often work might begin with parents before any direct work with a child can start. We aim to ensure parents can provide a safe, secure base for the child engaging in therapeutic work, to ‘skill up’ parents to continue the approach in between sessions and to support the family in managing the potential reactions a child might have to this work.

We can continue to provide advice, support and assistance whilst your family works with a specialist or therapeutic provider and will be involved in reviews of this support.

Other support and advice:

Contact us

If you would like any information and advice or to request an assessment, please get in touch:

  • 0800 023 4064