A comprehensive and independent Child Practice Review into the events leading up to the tragic death of a child in 2016 has been published today (2 August 2018).
The full report can be downloaded here.
Responding to the report and it’s recommendations, Suzanne Griffiths, Director for National Adoption Service for Wales, said:
“The circumstances that led to this review are tragic and extremely rare. Our thoughts are with everyone affected. The National Adoption Service has been providing advice to the Cardiff and Vale Regional Safeguarding Children Board in relation to the independent review. We want to ensure adoption services across Wales have an opportunity to learn from these findings.
“The report concludes that key decisions regarding the approval of Elsie’s adoptive parents and their subsequent matching with Elsie were thorough and robust. That finding notwithstanding, there is clearly a need to carefully consider the detail of the review and its recommendations so that policy and practice can be strengthened.
“In responding fully to the recommendations in the report, we will continue to work with the adoption collaboratives across Wales, voluntary adoption agencies and Welsh Government to strengthen safeguarding and adoption practice. The work we have already commenced, including on the review and support of children placed for adoption, will help us to do this, as will changes already made by the Vale, Valleys and Cardiff regional adoption collaborative, such as clearer guidance during pre-placement meetings; more detailed recording of visits; and discussion and sharing of safeguarding concerns.
“The adoption process has remained highly regulated since sweeping reforms were introduced in the 1980s. Adoption offers permanence and good outcomes for the vast majority of children who leave care in this way.
“The process of approving prospective adopters and placing children for adoption is necessarily thorough and detailed. It places a duty on professionals to make enquires and ask questions, in a sensitive and balanced way, in order to safeguard and promote a child's welfare.
“Since being established at the end of 2014, the National Adoption Service for Wales assumed responsibility for co-ordinating improvements to adoption services and advising the Welsh Government on policy and appropriate regulatory changes. We will continue to do that, informed by all the evidence and data available to us, including the findings and recommendations published today by the RSCB.”