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November 2021 Information Evening 

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

 

Latest News 

  • Truth be Told Podcast Wins Gold Award 

    06 October, 2021

    Our podcast won Gold for 'Best Use of Content' at this year’s CIPR PRide Cymru Awards which celebrate and recognise great communications.

    Here’s what the judges had to say: 

    “This campaign brought a really fresh approach to a complex and sensitive issue, with a focus on storytelling and real-life experiences. A meticulous approach to research and the involvement of diverse family groups from the outset created a compelling and ground-breaking podcast that inspired new and fruitful engagement for the National Adoption Service.” 

    Podcast Presenter and National Adoption Service Policy and Practice Officer Corienne Strange said: 

    “Like many organisations we had no idea what the pandemic would mean for our service. The podcast was critical in helping us to share our message but it also brought people together at a time when connection was so incredibly important. What we ended up with was a professional and ‘current’ product that is not only an enjoyable listen, but we have no doubt will stand the test of time for the National Adoption Service as we continue our mission to encourage more people to adopt. We couldn’t be happier with the gold recognition for everyone involved.” 

    Huge thanks to our adopters, our communication team at Cowshed and the podcast producers at Bengo Media for all their time, openness and hard work. 

    Podcast: Truth be Told
  • National Adoption Service Annual Report 2020/21

    28 September, 2021

    The National Adoption Service have published their Annual Report for 2020/2021. One of the key findings of the report is that during 2020/21 initial enquiries were up by 23%!

    The report covers information surrounding:

    • Initial enquiries
    • Approved adopters
    • Children placed
    • Adoption support

    The full report: National Adoption Service Annual Report 2020/21

  • Foster Wales campaign launches to increase Foster Carers across Wales

    20 September, 2021

    A campaign by ‘Foster Wales’,the new network of 22 Local Authority fostering services across the country, aims to make a substantial national impact on the futures of young people.  

    With over a third (39%) of Welsh adults saying they have considered becoming a foster carer, a new campaign launches across Wales today, aimed at significantly increasing the number and diversity of Local Authority foster carers.

    Throughout the country, every child in need of a foster carer is in the care of their Local Authority. The new advertising push, representing Cardiff and the other 21 not-for-profit Local Authority fostering teams that make up ‘Foster Wales’, aims to increase the number of foster parents needed to help keep children in their local area, when that is right for them.  

    Helping children to stay in their local community can be of great benefit and mean the world to a child. Not only does it keep them connected to their friends, their school, and their sense of identity, but it also builds confidence and reduces stress.  

    There's still a need to recruit an estimated 550 new foster carers and families across Wales every year. This is to keep up with the numbers of children who need care and support, while replacing carers who retire or provide a permanent home to children.    

    While no two children are the same, neither is the foster care they need. There is no ‘typical’ foster family. Whether somebody owns their own home or rents, whether they’re married or single. Whatever their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or faith, there are young people who need someone on their side.   

    The new campaign by Foster Wales will span TV, radio, Spotify and digital platforms.

    To find out more about Local Authority fostering: www.fosterwales.gov.wales
  • AUK Barometer 2021

    04 August, 2021

    The AUK Barometer report paints a very positive picture for Wales. It’s great to see such strong engagement from Welsh adopters and positivity around the adoption conversation - with 80% of responders from Wales were likely to encourage others to adopt and 83% feeling optimistic about the future. The findings are a vote of confidence – reiterating the importance of the work we are doing and the necessity to keep it up.

    It is important that we take this opportunity to recognise and celebrate the improvement that has already taken place, however, we are not complacent about the need for continued improvement to adoption and support services over the next year for children, young people, and their adoptive parents. NAS will continue to work on understanding adoptive parents, children and young people’s priorities for support – particularly during the transition into adulthood. We will also continue to provide:

      • Support, training, and guidance for adoptive parents
      • Social, emotional, and mental health support
      • Adoption ‘aware’ training for education professionals
      • Sensitive and timely life journey support

    Suzanne Griffiths, Director of National Adoption Service

  • National Adoption Service report on Adoption Support in Wales

    07 May, 2021

    We are pleased to publish this report on research completed for NAS by the Institute of Public Care at Oxford Brooks University. The findings are drawn from activity undertaken in October and November 2020.  Overall, the study heard from over 430 individuals concerned with adoption support in Wales, including 313 adoptive parents.

    The report provides a reassuring picture of improvements in the availability of adoption support in Wales, increased positivity amongst adoptive families in asking for and receiving support as well as describing additional and innovative new services. The study also provides significant insight into the current needs of adoptive families alongside noting the further work needed to create consistent and sustainable services.

    The report will continue to act as a blueprint for maintaining the improved arrangements and future development. The findings align with a growing body of research that indicates how the needs of adopted children are more akin to children who are ‘looked after’ than other children in relation to their higher emotional, health and wellbeing needs. The full report can be read here.

    The main results include:

      • The children had much greater difficulties, as measured by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and including specific diagnoses, than a comparative sample of other children
      • Children’s need for support after adoption often happens at times of transition such as moving from primary to secondary schools, and for some this can also be at times of disruption to everyday life such as an unplanned change of routine
      • A high proportion of parents reported confidence in feeling it was ‘Ok to ask for help’ and knowing how to do so; this was higher for new adoptive families
      • More than half of parents, and more than 70% of professionals, felt that more needed to be done to make education settings supportive to adopted children needs and ‘adoption aware’ while noting that this was an improving picture.
      • A significant number of adopters believe their children are thriving at home and reported high levels of confidence in parenting their children, particularly those in the younger age groups and despite impact on their own wellbeing, but they also indicated that they had made changes in order to ‘make things work for them and their family’. 
      • Almost 50% of adopters who participated commented that the Covid 19 pandemic had impacted on their need for support.Many indicated that whilst not having some of the outside pressures had eased some things, the loss of interactions with other children/adults and returns to work / school had created additional stresses and challenges

     

  • World Social Work Day 2021

    16 March, 2021

    Earlier this month we asked our team to share their experiences of social work; what inspired them to be a social worker, what’s challenged them and what they would say to others considering becoming social workers.

    Here are their stories:

    Sharon

    “I thought about taking up a career in social work during my mid 20’s. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to work alongside a Children with Disabilities Team as I coordinated integrated playschemes for 5-18-year olds. This inspired me to become a social worker as I could see how social workers made a difference to the most vulnerable children in society. I always wanted to work in a fostering team or adoption team since qualifying as helping children to find permanence is such a rewarding job to do. I feel privileged to have worked in the Adoption Service for many years and although we are faced with many challenges, seeing a child settle with an adoptive family because you have helped to make it possible is something pretty special. I would advise anyone who is thinking of becoming a social worker to try and get as much social care/life experience as they possibly can before they choose this as a career as it keeps you grounded. Being a social worker has helped me to think about the bigger picture; it has helped me to put myself in other people’s shoes and generally made me a more thoughtful person, who appreciates the smaller things in life a whole lot more.”

    – Sharron, Recruitment and Assessment Team

     

    Chris

    “I have had a variety of jobs over the past 41 years, including working in medical research and teaching science, but for the last 26 years, I have been working in social care. In doing so I have been privileged to be alongside many families, as they experience immense joys and profound sorrows. It continues to be the most demanding and rewarding job I have ever done. I know there are no absolute right and wrong answers in social work; I can only try to do my best, never become complacent and never stop learning.”

    – Chris, Adoption Support Team

     

    Sheree

    For me, I have always wanted to do social work, not really sure why but think it was the overall desire to help others, to be empowered and help people have the right skills and knowledge to help them in their decision making abilities. I have worked in several social work fields which have all given me greater skills and I have learnt a great deal from these areas. I would say to someone wanting to become a social worker, make sure that you always take time out for yourself, as social work can be all consuming. Self-care is really important and can quite easily lose sight of yourself if you don’t follow through with this. Be organised, be prepared for the surprises that crop up, or unexpected.  Make sure you start your day with a plan of what you are going to do, you will never complete your list of ‘To do’s’ in one day! Social work is always changing, new ways of managing and doing things always come in. Be flexible for change. 

    -        Sheree, Family Finding Team

     

    Emily

    What / Who inspired you to study social work?

    I was probably set on the track to becoming a social worker because my Mum has always worked in welfare and social justice support roles (and used to take me into work a lot when I was little) – she still does and my Step-Dad was a Police Officer for 30 years. They both always took their work really seriously and I think they instilled in me how tough some people have life, which I think would have guided me towards some kind of career working with people, wherever I ended up. I was a youth worker before I returned to university to become a social worker. I absolutely loved my job working with young people but I felt like there was a lot more I could and should be doing. I often found myself feeling like I could help more if I only understood the young people’s circumstances better, especially the ones who came to us from the youth offending services or leaving care. Ironically, I now know that I could have been more useful had their social workers been better at linking in with our service – read any serious case review and you will be sure to find issues with joint working highlighted. After I qualified as a social worker I always made a huge effort to link in with all sorts of different agencies, not just the most obvious ones, including the youth service in the areas I covered when I was a child protection social worker. I used to just pop in on youth nights to have quiet chats with the youth workers and built up my links with them this way. Their involvement was always invaluable to my work with some of my older young people but also their younger siblings sometimes. It is amazing what local knowledge and drama comes out during youth club nights.  

    Why did you decide to take a job in the adoption team?

    I never thought I would end up working in adoption. Quite the opposite. I always wanted to work in the youth offending or leaving care services with older young people, despite always absolutely adoring little ones. One little girl and her teenage Mum on my child protection case load changed my entire career path. I always felt a bit like a small part of my soul was taken each time I had to remove a child from their parents for their own safety; it was not a part of the job I will ever feel proud of – the fact that I made children safer was a great feeling but the heartache that came alongside that for all involved could be quite upsetting. I remember placing this little girl with her adopters and feeling an enormous sense of responsibility. Her Mum had begged me to not place her with adopters but to instead take her home with me repeatedly, as had her Grandmother. Despite the terrible thing I had done to them, which they will never ever get over, they trusted me, which felt overwhelming. Little girls Mum was so young herself and her own childhood incredibly traumatic; she had needed adopters herself and I could not get away from the feeling that she needed exactly what was happening for her daughter. I spent endless unpaid hours making this little girls life story book and writing her later life letter (I made them for her Mum too) and found saying goodbye to her quite hard after everything I had experienced alongside this little one; late night motorway journeys to women’s refuges with her and Mum, hospital collections after bumps to her head, changing nappies in my car boot because Mum couldn’t/wouldn’t do it, entertaining her in hours of contact when her Dad was unable to do anything but say her name to her. I couldn’t help it, we had a little bond and I realised I wanted to understand far more about how life was likely to pan out for this little girl and other little ones like her, so when a job in adoption came up, I applied. I had also secured interviews with a local youth offending team. I was offered jobs with them both; much to my own surprise, I chose adoption and I am so glad I did. I firmly believe that every social worker who works in child protection should spend at least 6-12 months working in an adoption team; I have learnt so much and I know that if I were to return to child protection, I would practice quite differently.

    -        Emily, Recruitment and Assessment Team

  • LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week - 1st-8th March 2021

    01 March, 2021

    Happy LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week!

    All this week we, alongside New Family Social are raising public awareness and encouraging people who identify as LGBT+ to explore adoption.

    At VVC we celebrate family in all its forms. This means we take enquiries from people regardless of their sexuality, gender expression, gender identity, anyone 21+ years old, people with or without a faith, people who are single, cohabiting, engaged or married, of any heritage, ethnicity or culture. 

    LGBT+ adoption week is not a one-off event. We work with our partners at New Family Social year-round. As a member agency, our adopters not only receive support from our team, but they also have access to all the resources and expertise New Family Social have to offer. 

    This year’s LGBT+ adoption week theme is #buildyourfamily. So, if you identify as LGBT+, single or in a relationship and are researching routes to building a family, we would love to speak to you: 0800 023 4064 / contact@adopt4vvc.org / Contact-Us

    If you are exploring routes to parenthood we recommend taking a look at our curated list of resources: Read, Watch, Listen. This list is not exhaustive but it includes books such as the children’s book, ‘and Tango makes three’, Stonewall’s Guide for Gay Dad’s, podcasts, shows and links to Instagram adopters such as @unlikelydad, @LeonWenham, @that_a.c_life and @The_Adventure_Squad.

  • Zero Racism Wales Pledge 

    17 February, 2021

    We have joined with other organisations and individuals across Wales to pledge with Zero Racism Wales. Our Zero Racism Wales pledge: Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption Collaborative

    By pledging we commit to being anti-racist and non-discriminatory in all we do. We have created the following statement to support our pledge and explain the practicalities of our commitment as a service further detail.

    Our detailed statement:

    Heritage, identity, race, culture, faith, religion and cultural observances are component parts of a person’s life and identity. As such, we encourage our families, children, parents and staff to share all aspects of their lives and identity with us. 

    As an agency we cover the highest population of any of the local authority adoption collaboratives in Wales. We are proud of our diverse community and we regularly review all aspects of our service as we continually commit being totally inclusive. 

    Our children are all unique and representant a broad and diverse cross section of society. Therefore, it’s always our priority to make sure that we can provide a spectrum of diverse households that can be considered to meet the individual needs of our children and that will offer a loving, safe and supportive family lifestyle. 

    We actively celebrate diversity and family in all its forms. We don’t discriminate based on ethnicity, age, disability, faith, religion, heritage, sexuality, gender identity, gender expression or relationship status. We commit to adhere to the Equality Act 2010 by providing fair and equitable services to all people.  

    We regularly review all our resources regarding inclusive language and imagery. Our information packs are available in Welsh, English, Arabic, Spanish and Italian.

    Our hope is that by providing information in a person’s first language or language of preference that they will feel valued, included and that they will be able to gain a further understanding of adoption in a language(s) that they feel most comfortable in.  

    Our team take responsibility to continually engage, listen and challenge themselves in learning more about racism, discrimination (of any kind), cultural observances, traditions and faiths. 

      • We pledge to stand up to racism and all other forms of discrimination 
      • We pledge to use our voices, our position and our platforms to challenge inequality, encourage radical inclusivity and celebrate uniqueness, similarities and family in all its forms. 
      • We pledge to continue to actively listen and learn more about cultures and identities and challenge ourselves to make sure we are anti-racist and non-discriminatory in all we do.

     

  • 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 resource that features a group of adopters discussing their shared experiences together.

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

    No one knew each other before the meeting but within moments 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 just interested in different ways of starting a family.

    Listen to the podcast here: adoptcymru.com/podcast

    Register for a lunchtime webinar to hear more honest stories 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 hem. '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

    06 June, 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

    04 March, 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.