The National Adoption Service for Wales has today (17 July) published their Annual Report which shows improvements made to adoption services in Wales.
Despite a rise in waiting children, the report focuses on the need to recruit more adopters and to continue improve adoption support.
In 2017/18, more than 300 children were placed in their adoptive home and circa 300 had their adoption order granted.
There was a further improvement in the average time children wait prior to placement for adoption; on average 14.5 months after becoming looked after and 7.9 months after the authority to place is granted.
Adoption services play an important role in securing permanent homes for children who cannot remain with birth family and for whom adoption is the agreed plan. The report shows improvement in placing children more quickly, placing siblings groups and more complex children as well as approving adopters more quickly.
It highlights important initiatives such as the new Life Journey Work Framework which is beginning to show results for children and their families by ensuring this is approached in a different way.
It also showcases the NAS Adoption Champions, the ‘Adopter Voice’ and the Adopting Together schemes which show much promise to support ongoing and future improvement.
The Chair of the NAS Governance Board Councillor Geraint Hopkins and the chair of the NAS Advisory Group Mr Philip Hodgson MBE said “We are pleased to see the continuation during 2017/18 of progress and improvement in adoption services in Wales; this reflects the hard work and contribution by staff, adopters, children and young people since the National Adoption Service was launched in 2014. Adoption services in Wales are now better than they were and contributing to better outcomes for children. This is what NAS was set up to do and aims to continue to do. This is not without its challenges, some of which are outlined in the report, but we realise that our role is to provide this challenge to ourselves, service providers in Wales as well as the policy makers of government.”
The report also draws attention to the ongoing need to recruit more adopters and the importance of flexible help, advice and support being available as and when needed to respond to the sometimes lifelong implications of adoption.
Suzanne Griffiths Director of Operations said “The annual report gives an opportunity to reflect on achievements whilst acknowledging that there is more to be done. NAS has made great strides in improving some areas of performance and kept the views of adopters, adopted children and young people at the heart of this. The key to being able to place children in a timely way is having sufficient adopters to meet the needs of Welsh children with an adoption plan. That requires more dynamic and flexible recruitment and adoption support. The need to further improve these things will remain the focus of attention during the next twelve months and beyond”.
Adoption in Wales
Year to 31 March 2018: