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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 / or can benefit from help and advice at various stages. Families may have additional support needs which may require more specialist support however families do not need to be in crisis to access adoption support. 

Importantly, all adoptive families are entitled to request an assessment of adoption support needs and for the adoption support plan to be reviewed. 

Our commitment to adoptive families:

  • Telephone advice and information provided by our duty team: 0800 023 4064 (Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm)
  • 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 etc
  • A mailing system for adoptive families. 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. If you have adopted with us but don’t currently receive these emails please contact us: and include with your full name (and your partners name if applicable), your email(s), phone number(s) and local authority area. If you are now co-parenting a child (that you originally adopted as a couple) and only one partner is currently receiving email information, please let us know and we will register the other parent.
  • Bi-annual family fun days that include a range of activities and the opportunity to meet with other adoptive families and professionals
  • 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
  • Access to our PATHways Co-Ordinator who can provide advice and support through the PATHways programme (run in partnership with Adoption UK)
  • Regular updates about opportunities to take part and share your experiences of adoption locally and nationally 
  • Access to our Children and Young People’s Co-Ordinator who can connect your child with other adopted children and services such as Adoption UK’s Connected groups
  • Support through the Adoption UKFirst 1000 Days Project


Adopted Person

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

Birth Families

Birth relatives of an adopted person may wish to receive support and / or access our intermediary service.


Adopted persons, birth families and adoptive families can access advice and support regarding on-going contact.



Assessment and ongoing support

Dependent upon your family’s needs, you may benefit from an assessment of your family’s adoption support needs to identify other suitable services, including specialist therapeutic support. 

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 other adoptive parents and / or adopted persons
  • Support with behavioural, attachment and other issues your child may experience
  • Intermediary support with direct and / or indirect contact between your child and their birth family
  • Financial support
  • Short breaks (respite) for an adopted person with another carer
  • Help where adoption breaks down or is at risk of breaking down

In adoption support we work holistically and consider the needs of the whole family.

An assessment involves a social worker meeting with you and your child(ren) to discuss the family’s views on the family’s well-being and support needs. The social worker may also need to consult 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.

Adoption support may not always be in relation to services directly from the adoption team themselves but instead, may relate to health or education needs. There may also be support that is best provided from the local authority’s preventative or care and support services. Where that is the case, the adoption support team will offer advice and assistance in accessing the relevant support service for your child.

Our adoption support practice follows 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 issues 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


Services provided by VVC directly include: 

  • Advice and guidance to parents on adoption-related issues including support around parenting adopted children which may be delivered 1:1 or via groups and training
  • Support with managing contact arrangements with birth relatives
  • Advice and support relating to applications for financial support (i.e., adoption allowances)
  • Advice and support around sharing life journey information and supporting a child to make sense of their past
  • Direct (non-therapeutic) work with children where appropriate 
  • Liaising and consultation with other professionals e.g., health and education to signpost parents to other relevant support services. 
  • Appropriate signposting and referral to the local authority to access preventative and other support services or to address high-risk situations
  • Providing advice and information to other services and agencies to enable them to become ‘adoption aware’
  • PATHways referral and support from our PATHways Co-Ordinator
  • An in-house Children and Young People’s Co-ordinator who undertakes direct work and engagement with young people and can provide a referral to Adoption UK Cymru’s ‘Connected’ service where appropriate
  • A Birth Family Adviser for advice, support, and guidance for birth relatives

At times, other services may be identified as the most appropriate lead service to provide support, including the Local Authority Children’s Services teams. This is usually in cases with complex factors and dynamics of which adoption is a part. In these cases, we may remain involved in providing adoption-specific support but may not be the lead agency.

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’ll 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’s your local authority which makes the decision regarding funding for these services rather than the adoption collaborative. Furthermore, before identifying a specific therapeutic recommendation, we may seek consultation with a psychology service or therapeutic panel to ensure the right service is being considered.

We’ll 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 and secure base for the child engaging in therapeutic work. This preparation and ongoing work with parents is designed to ‘up-skill’ 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.

Where needed we can continue to provide advice, support, and assistance whilst your family collaborates with a specialist or therapeutic provider, and we can 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