Adoption webheader

Upcoming Events


October 2020 Information Evening 

We will be holding our next information evening in October. If you are interested in adopting and would like to attend please fill out our enquiry form or call us on 0800 023 4064. 

 

Blog

Our blog keeps you up to date with our news and articles about topics surrounding adoption that might interest you. 

  • National Adoption Week 2020

     14 October, 2020

    One of the best ways to inspire people to adopt is by sharing success stories of those that have been there and done it.Truth be told: Adoption stories, a podcast from the National Adoption Service aims to be an informative resourcethat features a group of adopters discussing their sharedexperiences together.

    Truth be told: Adoption stories is available in both Welsh and English and features ten adopters from across Wales discussing adifferent adoption topic each week - from the first steps to post adoptionsupport. Stories range from same sex adopters and single adopters to older adopters and sibling adopters.

    No one knew each other before the meeting but withinmoments it is like listening to old friends talk. They laugh together, they cry together.

    Truth be told: Adoption stories is invaluable whether you’vealready adopted, are looking to start the process or justinterested in different ways of starting a family.

    Listen to the podcast here: adoptcymru.com/podcast

    Register for a lunchtime webinar to hear more honeststories and tips from adopters and adoption workers across Wales: https://bit.ly/3d3rLmp

  • Wales comes out top in UK wide adoption survey, but more support still needed for vulnerable children, report finds

     29 September, 2020

    Alongside identifying an improving picture in many respects there is still evidence that the lives of some of the UK's most vulnerable children are being affected by missed opportunities to provide them with timely and adequate support, a new report reveals today.  

    The Adoption Barometer, published by charity Adoption UK, describes the dramatic impact the right support can have. Now in its second year, the Barometer is based on the biggest ever survey of adopters. This year, 5,000 people responded to the survey, 361 of which were in Wales.   

    The Adoption Barometer also assesses the government policies that regulate adoption. Welsh policies scored best, with three areas of policy scoring ‘good’ - Approvals and Matching, Newly Placed Adopters and Established Families. Policy relating to finding families for children scored best across the board.

    However, all nations scored poorly in at least one area of policy. Policy relating to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) scored worst, with all nations assessed as ‘poor’, and adopter experiences of children with or suspected FASD was also ‘poor’ in all nations. 

    There has been progress in Wales since last year’s Barometer, building on the improvement seen since Wales implemented its National Adoption Service (NAS). In June 2019, there was a £2.3m investment in adoption services by the Welsh Government. In partnership with third sector organisations some of this funding is being used to provide new services including the Therapeutic Education and Support Services in Adoption (TESSA) and a new young people’s service. Respondents in Wales were considerably more positive about their experiences of accessing support during 2019 than they were the previous year.

    One of the main themes to emerge across the UK is the failure in diagnosing and treating brain damage caused by children being exposed to alcohol in the womb. The report reveals more than one-in-four adopted children in Wales (28%) are either diagnosed with or suspected to have FASD. 53% of families polled in Wales had waited two years or longer for a diagnosis, and 68% felt healthcare professionals lacked even basic knowledge about the condition, even though FASD is more common in the general population than Autism.  

    Adoptive mother Joanne, from South Wales, said:

    “We were told our son may have FASD when he came to us at four, but were told we’d never get a diagnosis as he did not have the associated facial features. He soon became violent and aggressive. He’d erupt for two hours every night when we put him to bed. He’d throw things, hit, kick, scratch. I've had three black eyes and I’ve got a scar on my chin from being hit with a candle. We saw GPs, Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), a neuro developmental team and a child psychiatrist before a doctor finally diagnosed our son with FASD. We were discharged the same day without the offer of any support.” 

    Around three-quarters of adopted children experienced violence, abuse or neglect while living with their birth families, often with life-long impacts on their relationships, their health and their ability to learn. Despite the considerable challenges, the report shows that adopters in Wales remain positive and resilient – 75% would encourage others to consider adoption.

    But failures in policy and practice and missed opportunities to intervene mean that problems often build into a crisis. Almost than half (48%) of families with older children report severe challenges, such as being drawn into criminally exploitative behaviour, including child sexual exploitation and county lines activities. The vast majority (66%) of respondents from Wales with school aged children anticipate they will leave school with few or no qualifications because they lacked the right support.  

    Author of the report Becky Brooks said:

    “It is morally and economically imperative that adoptive families are given the right support from day one. Yet 68% of new adoptive families who responded to the survey had no support plan in place. The cost to the child, the wider family and society when an adoptive family falls apart, is unacceptable.” 

    Suzanne Griffiths, National Adoption Service for Wales Director, said:

    “The Barometer is a welcome sense check from adoptive families as to where we are as a service. The findings encouragingly identify that improvements have been made. They also reflect where we know there is more work to be done, specifically access to adoption support and services for adopted children and young people. We have made significant investment into these areas over the past year with the support of £2.3m adoption support fund from Welsh Government and we look forward to future reports to see the impact this makes. Overall, there are some very positive messages in the report to celebrate and we are pleased to see that adoption in Wales is in a good place in terms of its improvement journey. This is exactly what NAS was set up to achieve.”

    The Adoption Barometer calls on the governments in all four nations of the UK to provide detailed therapeutic assessments for every child before they arrive in their new family, with up to date support plans to be maintained into early adulthood.  

    Key findings from respondents in Wales: 

    • 75% of respondent would encourage others to adopt and a similar proportion said they felt optimistic about their family’s future
    • 75% said they were confident about where to go for post adoption support and advice
    • 70% said they were regularly informed about training, events and other support services
    • There are increased levels of satisfaction with the support provided
    • - 75% saying support had a significant positive impact on their children (62% previously)
    • - 77% saying support had a significant positive impact on their family (62% previously)
    • - 84% saying it would be worthwhile asking for support in future (77% previously)
    • 88% of respondents felt their social workers were supportive during the early weeks and months after placement
    • 92% of prospective adopters said that the training days they had attended were informative and useful
    • 53% of prospective adopters found the process so difficult that they wondered if they could continue (78% in Northern Ireland)

     

    • 56% of new adopters experienced stress, anxiety or the symptoms of post-adoption depression during the early weeks
    • 68% of established adopters faced challenges
    • 5.3% of adoptive families experienced a child leaving home prematurely during 2019
    • 16-25 year-olds were twice (19%) as likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET) as their peers
    • 55% of families were aware of the dedicated funding for care experienced children in school in Wales (PDG LAC) but only 6% said they knew how it is being used
    • 77% of adopters say that their child needs more or much more support in school than their peers
    • Only 39% say that they feel the teachers have a good understanding of the needs of care experienced children

     

    • 97% of adopters were aware of the existence of FASD and 83% were given training or part of the adoption preparation process
    • 70% said they were given enough information to make informed decisions about whether, with enough support, they could parent a child with FASD
    • 89% of those children who have a diagnosis of FASD said it took more than a year from raising concerns to getting a diagnosis
    • - Only 16% of those who did get a diagnosis said it was a straightforward process
    • - And only 16% said they felt that primary health care professionals were knowledgeable about FASD.A further
    • -28% of those parents whose children do not have an FASD diagnosis suspect that their children do have FASD
    • *There are at least 55,000 adoptive families in the UK. 

     

  • Nursery worker, camera man, single mum and HR advisor front new campaign to show adopters come in many forms

    14 October, 2019

    Campaign launched by National Adoption Service to celebrate its first five years in operation:

    • First TV advert for adoption campaign in Wales
    • 1,630 children given a stable home 
    • More than £2.3 million in additional funding for adoption 
    • Adoption register to speed up family finding

     

    This National Adoption Week (October 14-20), National Adoption Service (NAS) celebrates its first five years with the launch of a new campaign, 'The Parent You Could Be'. Featuring real adopters, the campaign sets out to encourage people from all walks of life to become a parent through adoption.

     

    Since 2014, NAS has supported more than 1,630 children in Wales to find the right family for them. 'The Parent You Could Be' is a national campaign led by adopters of different ages, backgrounds, abilities and sexual orientations to help the service continue to successfully match families. Real people who have been through adoption are sharing their experiences - what they thought before they started and what they’ve learnt about themselves through the process - to dispel some of the myths that are putting people off adopting.

    Chris, who adopted his daughter through Mid and West Wales Adoption Service with his wife in 2015, is one of the adopters supporting the campaign. The couple had been trying for a child but weren’t successful and took a number of years to come the decision to adopt.

    Chris said:

    “When we first started thinking about adoption, we had this idea that in order to give a child what it needed to adapt to a new family, you’d have to have special qualities and couldn’t be in full time work. After doing research, speaking to others and then, going on courses, we realised that we did in fact have those special qualities."

    “I did wonder what bond I would have with our daughter and how it would compare with if we’d given birth to her. But as soon as we saw her picture and had a little more about information about her, we knew she would fit in to our family and it didn’t take long for a bond to form."

    “We adopted our daughter when she was a little older, so she has some memory of her childhood. We’ve had good days and bad days, but there has always been the support there for us to help her cope with her emotions."

    “A child doesn’t want material things; they want to be loved and nurtured. Adoption has been so rewarding for me and I would like to encourage others to just find out more before saying ‘it’s not for me’.”

    Five years of the National Adoption Service in Wales

    Since 2014, NAS has: 

    • Accessed more than £2.3 million in additional funding to invest in services and adoption support.
    • Reduced the waiting time for approving adopters and family finding for children and improved reporting and evaluation.
    • Increased the availability of life journey materials to help children better understand their family history.
    • Created five regional adoption collaboratives and developed a strong partnership with Voluntary Adoption Agencies. Adding different expertise, additional services and more choice to the service, resulting in exciting new initiatives such as Adopting Together, TESSA and a new Children and Young People’s service. 
    • Brought the Adoption Register for Wales into the service, providing greater breadth and depth of choice for prospective parents and children. 

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of Operations for the National Adoption Service, said:

    “We’ve achieved so much in five years and are grateful to all of the regional and voluntary adoption services as well as partner agencies which have already made a huge difference to people that are affected by adoption in Wales. Most importantly, however, we are grateful to the hundreds of adoptive parents who have come forward from all walks of life."

    “Our goal is to draw on the expertise and knowledge we have built over the past five years to reach even more potential adopters in Wales and ensure that we can continue to find families for children to will help them thrive."

    “There are some misconceptions about who can adopt but there really isn’t a one size fits all approach. It’s all dependent on the individual. The main things they can offer a child are time, patience, and security, as well as love.“We hope that by showcasing our adopters who come from all walks of life, we can help others to realise the potential in themselves to be a great parent and make that call to their local adoption agency to find out more.”

  • The first, original, Welsh language book to help explain adoption to children

    14 October, 2019

    Author Eurgain Haf has written a book for children under 7 that introduces the idea of adoption – the first original Welsh-language book to do so.

    Y Boced Wag (The Empty Pouch) is a sweet story about Cadi the kangaroo as she goes in search of happiness, and to fill her empty pouch.

     The book is published to coincide with National Adoption Week, an annual event to raise awareness of the need for homes for children and young people. This year it is held between 14-20 October.

    The subject is very close to Eurgain’s heart as she has herself adopted a child. The aim of the book is to help parents explain the process of adoption to their children, should they wish to:

    “I hope the book will help parents who have adopted, to help them with the important but difficult and emotional discussion with their children in their first language. The book will also help parents whose children know families that have been adopted, and is also a charming story in its own right.”

    “We adopted our son when he was a baby and he is now full of imagination and loves to make up stories. When he was in nursery school he came home one day with a picture of a kangaroo who looked sad. I asked him why he thought the kangaroo looked downcast. His simple reply was, because her pouch was empty. I told him that we would find a way to put a smile on the kangaroo’s face, and together we came up with the story Y Boced Wag.”

    Cadi sets off on a big adventure in search of happiness and meets lots of other animals along the way who want to help. She falls asleep under a tree, only to awaken the following morning to discover that a baby kangaroo has climbed into her pouch for shelter and warmth, and her wish has been granted.

    “I used the story to explain to him that he had been adopted, the gap that he had filled in our family and the happiness that he brought us. The story gives him comfort and the idea is a simple one that children can own and identify with. As he says, “It’s my story”.”

  • £2.3million boost for adoption support in Wales

    June 6, 2019

    Today (June 6), National Adoption Service in Wales (NAS) and Adoption UK Cymru (AUK) announced a £2.3 million Welsh Government investment for adoption support services in Wales.

    At an event held at the Senedd attended by key people from the sector, the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan confirmed the funding and also officially launched the new ‘Adoption Register Wales’.

    The £2.3m investment is to be spent through NAS’ five regions across Wales to strengthen adoption support services, enhance staff levels and improve ways of working in key areas of support for adoptive families.

    The new register is an essential part of the matching process in many adoptions and will support prompt family finding. No longer just for children who’ve been waiting the longest, but for all children with an adoption plan in Wales, the register gives adopters more say in their family finding.

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of Operations for the National Adoption Service, said:

    “The new register supports our commitment to the best possible family finding and matching for children and adopters. It is a bilingual service making it more inclusive and also gives adopters supported access to view children’s profiles and make decisions, with the support of their Social Worker.”

     Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan said:

    “As a Government we are investing money to strengthen adoption services in Wales. Working collaboratively with key organisations to use this funding to provide those being adopted and adopters with the right support. As well as ensuring that adoptive families can be found more quickly, this funding will enable the adoption regions to improve further the provision of adoption support services in their area.”

    Suzanne Griffiths added:

    “This investment is such a boost to our work to improve the support available to adoptive families across Wales. Improving services, and particularly support services, was one of the biggest challenges facing the National Adoption Service when it was created. We have already made many improvements through our local government regional services, but this funding will enable us to ensure there are improved services available consistently to families across Wales as well as providing, in partnership with the third sector, exciting new services such as TESSA and a new children and young people’s service”. 

     Part of the investment has also been used to match fund an additional £250,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund, granted to AUK to deliver its Therapeutic Education Support Services in Adoption programme (TESSA).

    Ann Bell, Development Manager, AUK Cymru, said:

    “Adoption UK is delighted to be working with the National Lottery to extend the TESSA programme across United Kingdom. TESSA gives an adoptive family access to a clinical psychologist and an experienced adopter, giving them coping strategies and an insight into how other parents have worked through challenges to help their family flourish. Early intervention is crucial to successful adoptions and TESSA has proved extremely effective in Northern Ireland, with adoptive families saying what a huge difference it has made to them. The additional funding from Welsh Government will significantly increase the scale and reach of TESSA in Wales, making it more widely available to new adoptive families.”


  • LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week 2019

    March 4, 2019

    We are proud to support LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week 2019! This year from the 4th – 10th March 2019 adoption and fostering agencies up and down the UK, alongside New Family Social are raising awareness to encourage more people who identify as LGBT+ to explore adoption and fostering.

    We are proud to be an inclusive adoption agency and we have a diverse network of staff and adopters already working with us.

    In 2018 1 in 7 adopters in Wales last year identified at LGBT+ which is above the national average.

    These are positive statistics and ones we are proud of; however the reality across the UK is there is still a large shortfall in the number of adopters for the children that are waiting. In 2018, in Wales alone, it was recorded that there were 6,405 looked after children. That number is set to rise over the coming year whilst the number of adopters is currently predicted to continue to decrease.

    As an adoption agency we have the responsibility to change these statistics and make sure that the most vulnerable children in our society are cared for so that they can grow, achieve and thrive and therefore we need you!

    We celebrate family in all its forms and our social workers are experienced in assessing people who identify as LGBT. That means that they are prepared to answer any specific questions and concerns that you may have and smoothly take you through the process.

    We look to receive applications from people regardless of age, gender, sexuality, relationship status, race or religion. Our families are a melting pot of different backgrounds and identities and all of them have their own unique qualities and dynamics. The one defining factor for all of our families is that they are inclusive and embraced adoption as a route to creating their family.

    What we are looking for are people who can offer a loving, inclusive, accepting and stable families for children who need it.

    As a member agency of New Family Social our adopters are not only supported by our team but can also access the resources and expertise of NFS. In the read, watch, listen section of our website we have a list of resources for LGBT adopters. This includes books such as ‘and Tango makes three’; a book that explains same sex adoption to children, Stonewall’s Guide for Gay Dad’s and links to social media influencers who are adopters such as @Unlikelydad and @StevieBlaine. There is also information available through New Family Social and Stonewall.

    LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week 2019 is a great opportunity for us to continue to encourage people who are interested in starting or extending their family through adoption to contact us. We regularly host information evenings and always welcome enquiries via phone: 0800 023 4064 and email: contact@adopt4vvc.org. We would love to hear from you!

  • National Adoption Week 2018

    This year, to highlight National Adoption Week 2018, we are releasing the first two parts in our new four part series ‘Becoming Parents’. Becoming Parents looks at the process of adoption through the eyes of some of our adopters. The series begins with ‘Getting Started’ where our adopters talk about the first steps they took to finding out more about adoption. View our  ‘Becoming Parents’ series here. 


    The second part of the series ‘Personal Assessment’ is where our adopters talk more in-depth about their experiences of the assessment process. We will be releasing ‘Matching and Getting to Know Each Other’ on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 and ‘Becoming a Family’ on Tuesday 30th October 2018 so keep a look out for these.

    Families come in all shapes and sizes with different outlooks, beliefs and quirks. We love that diversity. All the children that we look to match with adoptive parents come with their own personalities, backgrounds and requirements for the future. This means we need a wide-range of adopters. We accept applications from single people, people in a partnerships and married people, people who have children already and people who don’t yet have children. From our point of view ethnicity, sexuality and faith background have no relevance on your suitability to adopt. What matters to us is that you can provide a safe, secure, encouraging and loving home for a child who needs it. 

    Becoming Parents highlights some stories from just a few of our adopters. Our hope is that the series will help you to understand the journey of adoption more and maybe inspire you to find out more about adopting with Vale, Valleys and Cardiff. To contact us please fill out our enquiry form or call us on: 0800 023 4064. To find out more about adopting with VVC visit: www.adopt4vvc.org.

    We would like to thank Philipa, Ross, Michael, Gareth and Claire for taking part in this series. Thank you for sharing your stories, raising awareness and ultimately inspiring others to think about adopting.