Welsh Government launches National Adoption Service to boost service quality

The National Adoption Service for Wales will see the country's local authority adoption services grouped into 5 regional groups

The National Adoption Service for Wales was launched today, promising to boost the quality of the country’s adoption services.

The move will see all council adoption services grouped into 5 regional groups, called ‘collaboratives’, that will be overseen by the national service.

The national service will oversee consistency, development and improvement in both council and voluntary sector adoption services and encourage sharing of best practice.

Suzanne Griffiths, director of operations at the national service, said the aim is to tackle inconsistencies in adoption services in Wales, including long waiting times for children and adopters as well as poor quality post-adoption support.

“We’ve also introduced a new performance management framework so we will be in a better position to be able to monitor the performance of adoption services and identify where we need to continue to make other improvements,” Griffiths said.

She said that adoption social workers will not experience disruption or lose their jobs due to the creation of the national service: “Social workers who work in the adoption service are going to need to maintain their close links with the social workers who are doing care management.”

The regional collaboratives will jointly commission adoption services and lead their delivery, although some functions may continue to be delivered by individual councils.

“All local authorities will be involved in the management of their regional collaborative,” she said. “So although one of the local authorities is in effect the host and the lead authority, all the local authorities will have a role at officer and member level in the management of that service.”

The change will also see the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) Cymru operating a Wales-wide adoption register. “If we have adopters or children who can’t be matched in their regional arrangements, then the national register will help us to do that,” Griffiths said.

Specialist teams

Besides BAAF Cymru, four other voluntary adoption charities will also be working with the national service: Adoption UK, After Adoption, Barnardo’s Cymru and St David’s Children’s Society.

Ann Bell, Adoption UK’s development manager for Wales, said the main impact of the change would be greater consistency in policy and practice.

Bell also anticipated that it will lead to changes for social workers: “It is likely that adoption social workers will work in specialist teams going forward. This will be helpful in the case of adoption support since they will have opportunities to develop specialist skills in adoption support.”

The five regional collaboratives are:

  • Mid and West Wales: Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Powys
  • North Wales: Conwy, Denbingshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Wrexham and Ynys Mon
  • South East Wales: Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen
  • Vale, Valleys and Cardiff: Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Western Bay: Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot, Swansea

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3 Responses to Welsh Government launches National Adoption Service to boost service quality

  1. Non Davies November 6, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    “It is excellent to see that this fantastic development is being acknowledged by Community Care. However, the correspondent may wish to correct the misleading and inaccurate statement that Anglesey is not included – Ynys Mon which is listed under the North Wales Region in the article is indeed the one and the same authority as Anglesey! – thus ensuring the inclusion of 100% of Wales’ local authorities. BAAF Cymru is also omitted from the list of voluntary adoption agency partners and additionally BAAF Cymru has the privilege of managing the National Adoption Register, a corner stone of the new Service”

    • Mithran Samuel November 6, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Thanks for the comment and sorry for the statement about Anglesey, which we’ve corrected. BAAF Cymru’s management of the register is mentioned and the reason it is not listed with the other voluntary agencies is because it is mentioned in the preceding paragraph and the other agencies are referred to as the “other” charities working with the national service, but we’ve hopefully made that clearer too.
      Many thanks,

  2. Non Davies November 6, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    many thanks for the corrections and please continue your interest in this important development