The City of Cardiff Council has been chosen to play a crucial role in the delivery of a new all-Wales service designed to speed up and improve the adoption process in Wales.
The new service is expected to formally launch in November of this year during National Adoption Week, and will bring together key partners in the statutory and the voluntary sector to improve how prospective parents and children are matched, while also reducing the time children spend within the care system.
As host authority, the City of Cardiff Council will work with key partners to run an all-Wales adoption website, develop a centre of excellence for adoption services and employ a Head of Operations for Wales.
Local authority regional collaboratives will also be operating from the autumn, and will carry out a wide range of functions including assessment of families wanting to adopt.
While Welsh Government will provide funding for initial set up and running costs of the new service, local government will assume financial responsibility in 2015.
Cllr Mel Knott (Bridgend), WLGA Spokesperson for Health and Social Care said:
“The launch of the national adoption service will mark the successful delivery of a key part of the new Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act and places local government at the forefront of public service reform in Wales.
“Local government has committed significant time and financial resource to the development of this new service, and in doing so has demonstrated the leadership role that local councils can and must play in developing innovative forms of service delivery that directly meet the needs of our communities.
“Impressive progress has already been made in a very short space of time, and with Cardiff having been named as the authority to host the central elements of the National Adoption Service, I am sure that we will continue to offer the best possible outcomes to children and potential adoptive families in Wales.”
Councillor Phil Bale, Leader of the City of Cardiff Council said:
“Cardiff is fully committed to hosting an integrated National Adoption Service that will provide well co-ordinated activities between national, local and regional areas so that children, adopters and those affected by adoption will receive a consistent, quality service wherever they live in Wales”.
“With strong leadership from our Director of Children’s Services and a keen commitment to work collaboratively with other local authorities, we will maximise our resources and strengthen our potential to achieve positive outcomes for vulnerable children and young people across Wales”.
Phil Evans, Lead Director for ADSS Cymru said:
“We have been absolutely determined to lead successfully the work needed to set up a National Adoption Service, with the power to co-ordinate the delivery of adoption services across Wales. This will help to eradicate children drifting in care and waiting lists for training and assessment of prospective adopters. It will also improve the process of matching children with suitable prospective adopters and ensure better adoption support services.”
“Given the scale of the changes required, very considerable progress has been achieved in a short timescale. I would like to commend the work undertaken by all the many people and organisations involved. We’ve shared the same sense of mission, committed to making full use of the opportunities for achieving positive changes on behalf of children needing adoptive families and the families themselves. Acting together with our partners in the voluntary sector we’re beginning to create a national adoption service of which Wales can be proud.”