INITIAL figures from the National Adoption Service indicate a 36% increase in adoption enquiries during April – June 2020 in comparison to the same period last year.
The news comes alongside the announcement of the £2.3 million support fund from the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan.
This funding continues the investment package awarded to the adoption service in 2019 and will maintain the development of adoption support services in Wales and support local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies to strengthen and enhance existing services.
The £2.3m will support the Adopting Together programme, which aims to support children who wait 12 months or more to find an adoptive family.
It will continue the roll-out of the TESSA scheme in Wales including clinical psychology based family assessment and support psychology/education courses
In addition, it will include a national peer support network that provides new support and information service for children and young people; promote life journey work to help a child make sense of their past and understand their future and help develop best practice frameworks for adoption support and evaluate the National Adoption Service improvement programme and the framework
In March, the National Adoption Service adapted quickly to the challenges presented by the pandemic and restrictions on the face to face contact and travel. Visits to prospective adopters and adoption panels moved online so the service was able to continue in its work to find families for children with an adoption plan.
As a result, the service has not only received more interest in adoption, but there has also been an 18% increase in adopter assessments started during the lockdown.
Suzanne Griffiths, Director for the National Adoption Service Wales said:
“While the past few months have been a challenging time for everyone, we have been working hard to evolve and continue to match families in Wales, safely.
“By offering our services remotely through email, telephone calls and video conferencing, we have been able to support more people on their adoption journey. It’s promising to see this hard work result in more people coming forward.”
This month, the adoption service relaunched Become the parent only you could be, a campaign to help people from all backgrounds recognise their potential to be an adopter.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, your sexual orientation, whether you own your own home or if you’re single, almost anyone is able to adopt.
The service is looking for people who can give children the safety, security and love they need and encourages anyone considering adoption to contact their local adoption agency to take the first step and find out more.
As adoptive families adjust to the impact sudden changes to routine can have on children and families, the recruitment campaign will be reinforced by the Welsh Government continuing to invest £2.3 million in Welsh adoption services.
Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan said:
“It’s heartening to hear that enquiries into adoption have risen over the lockdown period. The investment announced today will support families throughout their adoption journey. Working collaboratively with key organisations, the money will support a variety of programmes which benefit both adopters and adoptees.”
Suzanne Griffiths added:
“Through our adapted services, our focus on increasing enquiries and the generous support fund, we are proud to continue to welcome new adopters and support those already going through the process to make a difference to the lives of children in need of a loving and stable home environment.”