New National Adoption Service for Wales goes live
A new service to speed up the adoption process in Wales has been launchedd by First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Minister for Health and Social Services Mark Drakeford.
Launched during National Adoption Week 2014, the National Adoption Service for Wales will increase the pool of adopters and ensure good quality post-adoption support is available to those who need it.
It will promote adoption and, most importantly, will give more children the opportunity to become part of a loving and supportive family.
The new service is being led and delivered by local government, working closely with voluntary sector partners, and it is a key part of the Welsh Government’s plans for transforming the way social services are delivered in Wales.
Bringing together adoption services across Wales on a national basis will deliver better collaboration and joint commissioning of adoption services, resulting in the eradication of children drifting in care. It will also enable more efficient uses of resources for training, assessment and support, an improvement in the matching process and the widest choice of placements.
The National Adoption Service for Wales is being delivered through a ground-breaking collaborative model, bringing together all Welsh local authorities and a broad range of key organisations and expertise.
Some types of adoption services will continue to be delivered by individual local authorities but most will be delivered by five regional collaboratives, pooling the expertise and resources of the member local authorities and their partners across the voluntary sector, health and education services.
The new Wales Adoption Register, operated by BAAF Cymru, will play a crucial role in swiftly matching children and potential adopters to ensure a prompt and suitable match is found for each child.
There are currently 139 children on the Wales Adoption Register waiting to be matched with a family.
Whilst there are 58 adopters referred to the Wales Adoption Register, only 22 are potentially available for these children as many are already having matches with other children under consideration.
There are no adopters referred to the Register who are willing to take a sibling group of over two children.
First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“Every child growing up in Wales deserves a good home, a loving family and to grow up in an environment, which allows them to fulfil their true potential.
“The launch of the National Adoption Service for Wales marks a step change in the way adoption services are delivered. Today, we are we are delivering real change for children and prospective adoptive parents in Wales.”
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“The National Adoption Service for Wales will have the power to deliver the services children and prospective adoptive parents need, addressing any delays or inequalities across Wales.
“Delays in the adoption system have the potential to cause lasting harm to children, robbing them of their best chance of the love and stability of a new family. We all refuse to accept that children can be left to drift in the care system and I expect to see an upward trend over the next few years as the National Adoption Service drives up standards and performance.
“I congratulate local government, the voluntary adoption agencies and all their partners who have worked so hard to bring about the launch of the National Adoption Service today. I welcome their evident appetite to respond to the challenge of building an innovative and excellent adoption service across Wales and to ensure that adoption is a positive, nurturing and enduring foundation for those children who need it.”
Cllr Mel Nott OBE (Bridgend), WLGA Spokesperson for Health and Social Care said:
“The development of a National Adoption Service for Wales demonstrates local government’s commitment to offering every child the best possible start in life. As a system, it has been designed to ensure that children and prospective adopter parents can be offered the security and satisfaction of becoming a new family as quickly and safely as possible.
“Today’s launch marks the successful delivery of a key part of the new Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act, and demonstrates the leadership role that local councils are providing in developing new, innovative forms of service delivery that directly meet the needs of our communities.”
Phil Evans, Director of Social Services in the Vale of Glamorgan said:
“The Association of Directors of Social Services Cymru is delighted to celebrate the launch of the National Adoption Service. This is a significant milestone in so many ways. Most importantly, it will help us to work side by side and meet together the challenge of transforming the way in which we provide care and support to all those who are involved in adoption across Wales.
We have welcomed the opportunity to take a leadership role in creating the National Service. It has been a collective enterprise from the beginning and we would like to pay tribute to all the key partners for their sustained commitment to achieving our shared vision.”
Wendy Keidan, Director of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) Cymru said:
“The five Voluntary Adoption Agencies in Wales are proud to be working collaboratively with colleagues in the statutory sector, education and health and we will share our unique expertise of adoption to collectively deliver the aspirational objectives of the National Adoption Service. By working together we will draw on best practice, tackle areas where improvements are needed and critically create a service that meets the life-long needs of all those affected by adoption – children deserve nothing less.”
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