Adoptions in Wales rise by five per cent

Report by the National Adoption Service also found a reduction in the time taken to place children with adoptive families

A house
Photo: Gary Brigden

The number of children placed for adoption in Wales rose 5.4% last year, figures show.

A report published by the National Adoption Service found the number of children placed with adoptive families increased from 366 in 2013-14 to 386 in 2014-15.

The number of approved adopters rose from 236 to 297 over the same period, an increase of 25%.

The length of time it takes for children to be placed with adoptive families also reduced from 26 to 16.5 months, the report found.

‘Better placed’

The National Adoption Service was launched in November 2014 to tackle poor quality post-adoption support, long waiting times for children and to increase the pool of potential adopters.

The move saw all council adoption services grouped into five regional collaboratives. These now work closely with voluntary sector partners to commission and deliver adoption services.

Suzanne Griffiths, director of operations for the service, said it was positive that the upward trend in placing children had continued, despite the significant organisational changes.

“I’m very pleased with what the service has achieved so far; in particular that we can see more children being placed more quickly and more adopters approved,” she said.

“I recognise that we have more to do so everyone who uses adoption services receive consistently better services, particularly when adoption support is needed. The report shows we are better placed than ever to achieve this.”

Adoption register

The launch of the National Adoption Service also saw the introduction of a Wales-wide adoption register, which is operated by the British Association for Adopting and Fostering (BAAF Cymru), to help match adopters and children who can’t be matched in their regional arrangements. The new register helped facilitate the process for 41 of the 386 children matched to date.

Wendy Keidan, director of BAAF Cymru, said: “We are encouraged that by working together in the sector more children are being placed more quickly for adoption.

“However, we should also acknowledge that we are all on a journey to consistently improve service delivery and by working in partnership we must strive to deliver a centre of excellence that recognises the lifelong impact of adoption for children and their families.”

‘Placement breakdowns’

The report also found an increase in the number of placement breakdowns before an adoption order is in place. This rose from six breakdowns in 13-14 to 13 in 14-15.

Griffiths said these figures were consistent with those quoted in recent research on adoption breakdowns in Wales and practitioners should “not be too alarmed” by them.

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.