How have adoption services improved in Wales? - asks National Assembly committee
To coincide with National Adoption Week, a National Assembly committee is asking what improvements have been made to adoption services in Wales following the publication of a report on the issue three years ago.
In that report the Children, Young People and Education Committee called for more ambition from the Welsh Government in its plans to launch a National Adoption Service. It also said that the new service would need to deliver the major step change that was needed in the provision of adoption services.
The Committee wanted the service to take on many of the responsibilities for adoption; including the recruitment and preparation of adopters and employing its own staff both nationally and regionally to ensure a consistent and high quality standard of service.
The Committee also wanted to see a National Adoption Register of all prospective adopters and children to improve the matching process; and, if feasible, post-adoption support remaining with local authorities until a child's 18th birthday.
Almost all of the recommendations made in the report were accepted either in full or at least in principle by the Welsh Government.
"Three years have passed since our report into adoption services in Wales," said Ann Jones AM, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee.
"The Committee feels this is ample time for our recommendations to have been implemented and for the effects of those changes to emerge.
"Therefore we would like to know about the experiences of new adoptive parents, and children and young people who've been adopted during this time.
"The Committee reaffirms its belief that, when a child cannot be brought up within their own birth families, adoption can be a positive life-changing experience for all involved.
"We want to know whether the systems to recruit adopters and to support children before and after adoption are smoother, more supportive and more encouraging for those thinking of adopting in future."
The Committee will also be gathering evidence from the Welsh Government, relevant local authorities and agencies, pressure groups and other non-governmental organisations.
For more information about the inquiry please visit the Committee page on the National Assembly for Wales website.
Click here to read the Committee report on adoption in Wales.
Click here to read the Welsh Government's response to the report.
Image: Thomas Fitzgerald (Flickr) under Creative Commons.