Update on our services in the current Covid-19 pandemic

 

We hope everyone is continuing to keep safe and well at this difficult time.  Our priority is to continue to ensure that our children and families remain safe and are supported. 

Please be assured that adoption services across Wales are working within UK and Welsh Government and Public Health Wales guidelines to continue to provide as many of our services as we can.  However, this has resulted in us needing to provide some services in a different way as we switch to staff working remotely or from home.  

Below outlines how we plan to continue with everyone’s safety in mind. We will keep this page updated as and when there are any significant changes. Please bear with us as things may continue to change.

Should you need specific parenting or adoption advice, Adoption UK’s Wales helpline is open. You can call on 02920 230319 or email wales@adoptionuk.org.uk. There is also advice, information and resources geared to supporting families during the Covid-19 situation here.

If you have any major health concerns regarding the Coronavirus, please also visit the NHS website.

 

Adoption services across Wales

Our Regional and Voluntary Adoption Agency staff are continuing to deliver their services. The majority of offices are now closed to the public, but staff are available via e-mail, telephone and increasingly video conferencing.  Face-to-face visits are now only taking place in very urgent situations and these will be risk assessed, in terms of the staff, people and places visited, using current public health guidance.

 

Recruitment visits and assessments

These have now switched to mainly video or telephone sessions with staff keeping in touch and providing information as required.  

 

Adoption Panels

Panels will continue to focus on essential business such as approvals and matching children with prospective adopters although they will be carried out via video or conference calls. Adoptive parents and prospective adopters will be asked to join via video/telephone calls.

 

Adoption Register Wales

Use of the Adoption Register Wales will be unaffected but it may be that discussions with Social Workers may take a little longer than usual. Please bear with us as staff make the necessary adjustments. They will be in touch with you as soon as possible. 

 

Matching, and placement introductions

Matching meetings will happen by telephone, video calls and written reports.

Commencing introductions and moving children into placements is challenging in the current climate.   A framework has been developed to support Welsh adoption services to consider whether this is possible on an individual case-by-case basis and with the authority responsible for the child; this framework adheres to Government/Public Health advice while also meeting necessary legal guidelines. Services aim to keep everyone informed but if you have any queries about how you are affected by this this please speak to your Social Worker.

 

Adoption Support

Adoptive families and professionals should contact their regional or voluntary adoption service to access the range of adoption support services that can be made available.  Advice on this is available on this website or directly from services themselves. 

Additionally, should families need specific parenting or adoption advice, Adoption UK’s Wales helpline is open to all adoptive families via 02920 230319 or emailwales@adoptionuk.org.uk

Services across Wales have adapted to continue to provide services safely during this health emergency; this includes new services funded by the Welsh Government such as the TESSA services provided in partnership by local authorities and Adoption UK.

 

Placing children

Our intention is to continue to move children in line with any agreed plans, necessary risk assessments and Public Health advice but this may change as the situation changes. We will do our very best to keep all those affected involved.

 

Visits to children and families


Families who urgently require visits, particularly for adoption support, will be prioritised according to need. Where advice and or remote contact is possible, support will be offered that way.  Where it is necessary to visit, risk assessments will be undertaken.

 

Preparation and other training for adopters

Preparation, and other training, is now being provided through video conferencing or other facilities.  This has already happened in a number of services while others are putting plans in place to make this available as soon as possible. 

A resource pack, with reading and other exercises that prospective adopters can do themselves, will soon be available on line.  This will support prospective adopters in the early stage of their assessment to think about some of the issues they may encounter and is linked to the social work assessment. 

The NAS post approval training has also been put on line so those adopters that wish to work through this themselves can do so.  As above this and other training/development activity for approved adopters is being provided by services through video conferencing. 

Whilst these are unusual times for everyone, we are still here for anyone about to start or are already on their adoption journey, via phone or email. Please call or email the region for your local area, or one of the Voluntary Adoption Agencies, if you are already connected to them with any questions.

Update on support to adoptive families in the current Covid-19 pandemic

 

Back to school

It’s only natural that your children might be feeling worried about going back to school. ‘Sammy sloth goes back to school’ is an amazing new book written by Rachel, one of our Mid and West Wales adoption support workers to put their minds at ease and get them excited about getting back in the classroom. Read it together here:

https://adoptionmwwales.org.uk/new-resources-to-support-your-children-as-they-return-to-school/

 

We hope everyone is continuing to keep safe and well.  As previously reported our priority is to continue to ensure that our children and families remain safe and are supported. 

Adoption services across Wales are continuing to work within UK and Welsh Government and Public Health Wales guidelines to continue to provide our services.  Over the past year services have mainly been provided remotely with staff predominantly working from home. As restrictions start to ease it is envisaged that services will take on a hybrid way of working with some remote meetings continuing alongside the re-introduction of face-to-face meetings where these are not already happening. 

Below outlines how we plan to continue with everyone’s safety in mind. We will keep this page updated as and when there are any significant changes. Please bear with us as things may continue to change.

Should you need specific parenting or adoption advice, Adoption UK’s Wales helpline remains open. You can call on 02920 230319 or email wales@adoptionuk.org.uk. There is also advice, information and resources geared to supporting families on the main AUK site here.

If you have any major health concerns regarding the Coronavirus, please also visit the NHS website.
 
Please see our Adoption Support section for further information.
 
Adoption services across Wales

Our Regional and Voluntary Adoption Agency staff are continuing to deliver their services. The majority of offices are still closed to the public, but staff are available via e-mail, telephone and increasingly video conferencing and are beginning to return to their offices.  Face-to-face visits will continue to be risk assessed, in terms of the staff, people and places visited, using current public health guidance.
 
Recruitment visits and assessments

These will now be a mixture of on-line and face-to-face visits subject to risk assessments and guidance.
 
Adoption Panels

Panels will continue to focus on essential business such as approvals and matching children with prospective adopters via video or conference calls. Adoptive parents and prospective adopters will be asked to join via video/telephone calls.
 
Adoption Register Wales

Use of the Adoption Register Wales has been largely unaffected and many profiling events that were traditionally held face-to-face are now happening remotely.
 
Matching, and placement introductions

Matching meetings will happen by telephone, video calls, and written reports.
Commencing introductions and moving children into placements is becoming less challenging but we are still following public health guidance and adhering to Covid risk assessments.   The framework that was developed to support Welsh adoption services to consider whether this is possible on an individual case-by-case basis adheres to Government/Public Health advice while also meeting necessary legal guidelines and is still being used. Services aim to keep everyone informed but if you have any queries about how you are affected by this this please speak to your Social Worker.
 
Adoption Support

Adoptive families and professionals should contact their regional or voluntary adoption service to access the range of adoption support services that are being made available.  Advice on this is available on this website or directly from services themselves. 
Additionally, should families need specific parenting or adoption advice, Adoption UK’s Wales helpline is open to all adoptive families via 02920 230319 or emailwales@adoptionuk.org.uk
Services across Wales have adapted to continue to provide services safely during this health emergency; this includes new services funded by the Welsh Government such as the TESSA services provided in partnership by local authorities and Adoption UK.
 
Visits to children and families

Families who urgently require visits, particularly for adoption support, will continue to be prioritised according to need. Where advice and or remote contact is possible, support will be offered that way.  Where it is necessary to visit, risk assessments will be undertaken.
 
Preparation and other training for adopters

Preparation, and other training, is now being provided through video conferencing or other facilities as well as some face-to-face where it is possible to do so.  A resource pack, with reading and other exercises that prospective adopters can do themselves, is available on this website.  This will support prospective adopters in the early stage of their assessment to think about some of the issues they may encounter and is linked to the social work assessment. 
The NAS post approval training is also available on line so those adopters that wish to work through this themselves can do so.  As above this and other training/development activity for approved adopters is being provided by services through video conferencing. 
Whilst these remain as unusual times for everyone, we are still here for anyone about to start or are already on their adoption journey, via phone or email. Please call or email the region for your local area, or one of the Voluntary Adoption Agencies, if you are already connected to them with any questions.

 

North Wales Adoption Service

NWAS staff continue to be available daily by phone, or remotely through Microsoft Teams or Zoom or by email to adoptive families to offer support.

Initial visits, training, assessments, Linking, matching, panels are all being done remotely through Microsoft Teams and Zoom although increasing personal visits are being made in those areas where appropriate, all continue to be risk-assessed.

Support to adopters and children is being delivered both remotely and personally where appropriate and are also risk assessed. 

 

Adoption Mid & West Wales

We continue to offer a variety of adoption support services to all those affected by adoption. A mixture of online support meetings and direct visits are taking place. Adoption Mid & West Wales is continuing to offer support and training online for distance learning, adoption support group activities, this includes a collaboration with the Adoption UK ‘Connected’ youth group that provides activities for young adopted people. Adoption support staff can advise, support and share resources with parents to help them manage at this difficult time with the ongoing coronavirus situation. Information on our website is being updated regularly and is also included in the newsletter that is sent via email to the many families on our data base.
Please do contact us if you require support.

 

Western Bay Adoption Service

WBAS is returning to work in a similar way as in pre COVID times, the office is open and staff are available via email, telephone, virtual calls and face to face meetings which are subject to risk assessment. We continue to offer a variety of adoption support services either remotely or face to face where assessed as safe. The team are also continuing to recruit and assess perspective adopters. Family finding activities are continuing using a variety of on line and face to face resources. WBAS continue to offer a range of support group and training activities. Please don’t hesitate to make contact if you require further support or wish to make an enquiry to adopt.  

 

St David's Children Society 

If you adopted through St David’s:


• Staff continue to offer a blended approach to supporting to families including face to face and virtual using Zoom, Microsoft Teams; Skype, What's App etc.
• We run monthly mid-week using a mix of virtual and in person but outdoors support and play groups.
• We have increased the use of social media with ideas of things to do with children during this challenging time.
With ongoing support from Welsh Government we have developed a range of group and one to one workshop, support & consultation sessions led by a clinical psychologist.
 
AFA has worked closely with NAS and our Regional partners to develop 3 bespoke e-learning modules to ‘’Support Effective Functioning during Covid-19’’. The modules are around an hour long, are free to access and are available on the AfACymru website

• Legal
• Transitions
• Assessment
 
AFA has been commissioned by NAS to develop a Wales Early Permanence framework and are consulting with a range of stakeholders to complete this exciting task.
 
AFA Cymru is in the process of redesigning its website to support information sharing, learning, training, workshops and webinars. The launch of AFA’s new website is eagerly anticipated in September.
Contact no: 029 20667007
Email: info@stdavidscs.org

 


Vale, Valleys and Cardiff Adoption

The delivery of our service has changed due to Covid 19 restrictions but we are trying to minimise any disruption and are continuing to provide services to the best of our ability. The team are working remotely but are continuing to assess and offer advice and support.

Please call 01446706152 or complete the enquiry form on our website www.adopt4vvc.org and a duty worker will respond within 48 hours.


South East Wales Adoption Service

Our offices are still open using a skeleton staff to ensure that all enquires and adoption support requests are responded to. We are actively recruiting and family finding using remote platforms and face to face visits subject to public health guidelines

Adoption support is being delivered remotely and face to face in an emergency or when required. Adoption support are facilitating  online training and  providing resources to help parents with their children. There is remote contact  and direct contact with social workers who will continue to advise on any emerging issues and support you as they would do in normal circumstances. The South East Wales Adoptions Psychology Service is also working remotely for those of you who need therapeutic support.

Please don’t hesitate to make contact if you require support or wish to make an enquiry to adopt.

 

Barnardo’s Cymru Adoption Service

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak we have changed the way we are delivering services.  This will continue whilst restrictions are in place but is kept under constant review.  We are working virtually which means all our services have now moved online, where we continue to offer support and advice. We are still very keen to speak with you and any answer questions you may have by phone or email. Please do therefore complete the online – online enquiry form and we’ll respond within 48 hours. For enquiries please contact 0800 054 6788 or email bcafs@barnardos.org.uk

 

Adoption UK services for all adoptive families

Adoption UK runs the following support services for adoptive families in Wales.
Advice and support by phone and email
Adoption UK Cymru’s helpline is open to all adoptive parents, prospective adopters, special guardians, kinship carers and adopted adults.
Speak to experienced and friendly advisers on 0300 666 0006 (option 5) between 10am and 2.30pm Monday to Friday, or email wales@adoptionuk.org.uk
There is also a call back service if a more in-depth conversation is needed.
Family membership
Family Membership opens up a wealth of resources for adoptive families, including online events and webinars, discounts on leisure and travel, a growing online community, and Adoption Today magazine.
New adopters can speak to their adoption service about funded membership of Adoption UK.
Community groups
https://www.adoptionuk.org/community-groups-wales 
Meet other adopters and adopted people and build your support network. There are 20 community groups running across Wales, including groups for LGBTQ+ adopters, parents of teenagers, and single adopters. Groups are currently meeting online.
Training
https://www.adoptionuk.org/training-wales 
Build your skills and knowledge by attending a range of training courses, delivered by experienced practitioners and adopters. Courses are currently being delivered online.
TESSA


The Therapeutic, Education and Support Services in Adoption (TESSA) programme aims to empower adoptive parents, who are raising traumatised children, by giving them early access to a clinical psychologist as well as peer support.
This service is available for families who have had a child placed with them for a year or more. Please contact your regional adoption service or voluntary adoption agency to find out more.
Connected


https://www.adoptionuk.org/cyps-cymru 
Connected is the name of Adoption UK’s Children and Young People Service in Wales. At present, there are bespoke virtual monthly sessions for adopted children age 7- 10 and young people age 11 – 25 years. The monthly groups aim to improve children and young peoples’ self-confidence, build self-esteem, develop life skills, while helping to reduce the sense of isolation which some adopted children experience. Activities include art, drama, circus skills, healthy eating/cooking and music sessions to name but a few. These monthly sessions are offered in Cardiff, Swansea, South East, Mid & West and North Wales. Contact the Adoption UK helpline for an enquiry form.

 

 

Some things to help at the moment

1.       This is a useful website, called MindHub, an on-line portal to services that support children and young people with emotional and mental health and wellbeing issues.
See what is available at www.mindhub.wales
 

2.       Five tips for foster carers and adoptive parents. Coronavirus is affecting everyone’s lives. As adoptive parents or foster carers, this can bring different challenges – but we’re here to help

https://www.parents.actionforchildren.org.uk/covid-19-advice-support

 

Stay Home. Stay Positive: 10 top tips

 

 

Adoption UK has things to help with 

 

Self care

https://www.adoptionuk.org/self-care

 

Keeping occupied

https://www.adoptionuk.org/managing-anxiety

 

Home learning

 

https://www.adoptionuk.org/education-learning-resources

 

 

 

Our South East Wales Adoption Service has produced a guide to occupying children of various ages

Isolation/Lock Down Activity Ideas and Survival

 

 

 

 

Our Western Bay service has produced a guide to Surviving home isolation.

 

https://westernbayadoption.org/western-bays-guide-to-family-self-isolation/

 

 

 

Our service in Vale Valleys and Cardiff has some general information and support resources that may be helpful.

 

https://www.adopt4vvc.org/en/Adoption-Support/Read-Watch-Listen.aspx

 

 

We hope the information above will be helpful but services continue to be available by telephone and e-mail if you need to contact them.

 

Visits to children and families

Families who urgently require visits, particularly for adoption support, are being prioritised according to need.  Where it is necessary to visit, risk assessments will be undertaken. Where advice and or remote contact is appropriate, support will be offered that way. 

 

 

Taking the next step

View the FAQs about adoption Frequently asked questions
Speak to an adoption advisor Find your nearest adoption agency

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