Adopting Together -

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The Adopting Together Service is a collaboration between St David’s Children Society and Barnardo’s Cymru, with support from the National Adoption Service and partnerships with Cardiff University, The Family Place, Innovate UK, After Adoption, and AFA Cymru.

Adopting Together was started in 2018 to find adoptive families for the most vulnerable children who have been waiting the longest within Wales.

These children are often:

  • Older than the average child waiting for a family
  • Sibling groups of 2 or 3 who need to stay together
  • Children with health difficulties and long-term conditions
  • Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) children

The longer they wait, the more difficult it becomes to find them a family. Adopting Together gives them a better chance to find a lifelong secure, loving family.

The Adopting Together Service is built to help the adopter and the child have a better transition, being able to understand and communicate their emotions and create stronger bonds as a family unit.

Adoption can be a confusing for a child in foster care, so Adopting Together has some built-in support systems to help you in the process.

 

Team for the Child

Once matched, the adopter attends a "Team for the Child" meeting with all the people who have known the child personally and professionally: the foster carer, the social workers, the health visitor, the school headteacher, or anyone who can give valuable insight into the child's experiences and behaviours. This meeting, led by a psychologist, gives the adopter a well-rounded understanding of the child before they meet, to help them create informed parenting.

Psychological Report

The psychologist who runs the Team for the Child meeting also prepares a psychological report of the child, showing a timeline of the child's movement, their disruptions, the trauma they have faced, and any other important psychological information. This is shared with the adopter to help them understand the child more fully and sympathetically.

Buddy System

Every adopter is linked with a buddy before they begin introductions to the child. This is a person who has adopted, usually with a similar experience to the adopter, such as number of children adopted or being a single adopter. They can provide first-hand knowledge of the process, answer questions from an adopter perspective, and become a valuable part of the adopter's support system.

Transitions Support

Before the placement, a trained transitional social worker from St David's meets a few times with the child, helping them understand the move and feel less frightened or confused. That same social worker then meets with the foster carer and adopter to help them understand how best they can work together to help the child in transitions. After the child is placed, the social worker visits the adopter and child at home a few times to help with the transitions. The child, having known the social worker at their old home, often feels comforted by their presents and it helps them trust their new family.

Psychologist Support

In the first year of placement, every adoptive family receives three sessions with a psychological therapist. The adopter can choose to have these early in the year or spread out over the year, depending on their needs. This allows for them to address any issues that come up after placement, or to understand their own feelings as well as the child's.

Lifelong Support

Like any other adopter with St David's, our Adopting Together families have access to our lifelong support systems. Read more about those here.

Interested in adoption?

We would be delighted to hear from you: contact us

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