Review of post adoption support needed in Wales, says National Assembly Committee
Monday 18 April 2016

The National Assembly for Wales Children and Young People and Education Committee has been reviewing the progress made since its inquiry into adoption services in 2012.

On 23 March 2016 the Committee published a report suggesting the Welsh Government conducts a review of post-adoption support available in Wales. In the Committees follow-up review concerns are raised of the lack of post-adoption support and the significant and very serious impact this can potentially have on children and families; as well as concerns about the regional variation across Wales; and how the majority of adopted children are still not being provided with quality life-story work.

The Committee concludes the National Adoption Service has settled very well. However, during the follow-up it was brought to their attention that the national arrangements are not being replicated on a regional level and heard concerns that there were no tangible partnership arrangements with the third sector at an operational level.

Responses to the follow-up inquiry suggest there has been very limited progress in improving post-adoption support. Stakeholders and parents would like to see a similar funding to England’s Adoption Support Fund available in Wales. However, the Minister said he had some concerns that a system based on individual applications would not necessarily mean it would reach those in most need and refers to being ‘mindful of the need to move away from spot purchasing and short term, local commissioning’. £1.2 million is being made available to third sector organisations (After Adoption, Adoption UK and St. David’s Children Society) over the next three years to provide post adoption support across Wales. The funding will however not be used to support individual children and families.

Ann Jones AM, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee said: “The Committee welcomes the progress made so far with regards to the early stages of adoption, including recruitment and training,”

“The response to the National Adoption Service (NAS), which we advocated in our 2012 report, is positive, particularly with regards to the speed with which it has established an appropriate infrastructure; its engagement with key stakeholders and the establishment of systems to gather data on adoption.

“However, we are concerned that little, if any, progress has been made in improving post-adoption support which we see as a critical part of the process.

“The regional variations and lack of quality life-story work for the majority of adopted children is worrying and we would urge all those involved to make further efforts to address these issues and provide the sort of quality, compassionate and complete support adopted children and their families need.”

Read the full report Follow-up Inquiry into Adoption Services in Wales here.