A Message from Wendy – Jul 2021

As we enter the summer holiday period I wanted to let you all know what is happening at St.David’s.

Following latest Welsh Government advice, we continue to work from home when we can. As we cannot guarantee that social distancing guidelines can be adhered to, we are unable at the present time to open the office for information sessions for those enquiring about adoption or for the preparation to adopt training. As we have been doing over the past 17 months, all these services remain accessible on line and we very much welcome enquiries from those wishing to know more about adoption and the children who are waiting for a family.

We continue to undertake assessments of prospective adopters through a mix of face to face and online sessions and this has worked well throughout the pandemic. Our adoption support services also follow a similar pattern of face to face and online support sessions depending on individual circumstances and individual needs. As ever we want to balance up safety in respect of health alongside recognising that for some this has been a very isolating, difficult and anxiety provoking time.

We did have an outside meet up of a number of families earlier this month which was great and we are constantly keeping under review whether we can do more of the same. Unfortunately, we were unable to have our summer celebration event this year and any plans for a winter celebration will be very dependent on Welsh Government national guidelines. We do however remain optimistic that 2022 will be the year we can at last all meet together indoors and outdoors and spend collective time and fun together.

I know the past few months have remained challenging with the unpredictability of the virus never far from us all – the impact on that for children being sent home from school to self-isolate if one in their bubble has covid has been particularly tough for children and their parents.

I do hope that whatever your individual plans are for the summer you are able to have time to relax take some time to recharge your batteries and most importantly at whatever stage you are in the adoption journey, enjoy! Please don’t hesitate to contact us either by phoning 02920 667007 or info@stdavids.org if we can help in anyway.

On behalf of all the staff at St.David’s we send our warmest wishes to you all












Wrth i ni ddechrau ar gyfnod gwyliau’r haf, hoffwn rhoi gwybod i chi gyd beth sy’n digwydd yn Dewi Sant.

Gan dilyn cyngor diweddaraf Llywodraeth Cymru, rydym yn parhau i weithio gartref pan allwn. Gan na allwn warantu y gellir cadw at ganllawiau ymbellhau cymdeithasol, ni allwn agor y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd ar gyfer sesiynau gwybodaeth i’r rhai sy’n holi am fabwysiadu neu hyfforddiant baratoi i fabwysiadu. Fel yr ydym wedi bod yn ei wneud dros y 17 mis diwethaf, mae’r holl wasanaethau hyn yn parhau i fod ar gael ar-lein ac rydym yn croesawu ymholiadau gan y rhai sy’n dymuno gwybod mwy am fabwysiadu a’r plant sy’n aros am deulu.

Rydym yn parhau i gynnal asesiadau drwy gymysgedd o sesiynau wyneb yn wyneb ac ar-lein ac mae hyn wedi gweithio’n dda drwy gydol y pandemic. Mae ein gwasanaethau cymorth mabwysiadu hefyd yn dilyn patrwm tebyg o sesiynau cymorth wyneb yn wyneb ac ar-lein yn dibynnu ar amgylchiadau ac anghenion unigol. Fel arfer, rydym am gydbwyso diogelwch a iechyd a chydnabod bod hwn wedi bod yn amser ynysu, anodd a phrydus i bawb.

Cawsom gyfarfod tu allan gyda nifer o deuluoedd yn gynharach y mis hwn a oedd yn wych ac rydym yn parhau i adolygu a allwn wneud mwy o hyn yn y dyfool agos. Yn anffodus, nid oeddem yn gallu cael ein digwyddiad dathlu haf eleni a bydd unrhyw gynlluniau ar gyfer dathliad gaeaf yn dibynnu’n fawr ar ganllawiau cenedlaethol Llywodraeth Cymru. Fodd bynnag, rydym yn parhau i fod yn obeithiol bydd 2022 yn y flwyddyn y gallwn gyfarfod â’n gilydd dan do ac yn yr awyr agored a threulio amser gyda’n gilydd, o’r diwedd.

Rwy’n gwybod bod y misoedd diwethaf wedi bod yn heriol gyda natur anrhagweladwy’r feirws a  mae’r effaith ar hynny a’r blant sy’n cael eu hanfon adref o’r ysgol i hunanynysu os oes gan un yn eu swigod covid wedi bod yn arbennig o anodd i blant a’u rhieni.

Rwy’n gobeithio, beth bynnag yw eich cynlluniau ar gyfer yr haf, y gallwch gael amser i ymlacio, ac yn bwysicaf oll ar ba gam bynnag yr ydych yn y daith fabwysiadu, mwynhewch! Mae croeso i chi gysylltu a ni trwy ffonio 02920 667007 neu e-bostio info@stdavids.org .

Ar rhan holl staff Dewi Sant, rydym yn anfon ein dymuniadau cynhesaf atoch i gyd.









Let’s Talk Adoption – Siblings

The below blog comes from Damian, a St. David’s adopter, who, with his partner, adopted twin boys. More of Damian’s blogs can be found on his website:


Let’s talk adoption

It’s been a while since I talked about adoption.

Next month (May 2021) marks three years since we met the boys and all of our lives changed forever. Andrew and I always knew we wanted more than one child. It was never a matter of if, but when. Initially, you worry about the practicalities. We had never had a family. How were we going to afford it? How would we fit anymore than one child in our home? We only had a small car.

So, when we started the assessment process, we explained our thinking to our social worker, who was happy to process our application for one child. Or so we thought. As we navigated the adoption process with the support from our social worker and we discussed in further detail our future family, it became clear to us, that we were ready and our once reasons, were only excuses. Fortunately, our social worker had predicted this so we continued to progress through the process seamlessly.

In those days before the boys moved in, I remember staring at their empty car seats we had diligently waiting, trying to picture two children (twins to be exact), our children, in them. Now they are covered in stains and crackers crumbs. The past three years seems to have passed both as slow as forever and as fast as the blink of an eye. What did we do with all this love before them? Over the years we have had it all. Laughs. Tantrums. Lack of sleep. Hitting.

You name it, we have had it.

Are these adoption related? Yes and no.

Over the years we have learned to identify behaviours which are related to and the effects of their early childhood trauma. The rest is down to not getting their own way, tiredness, growing up and learning how to handle their emotions and some days, whichever way the wind blows. You know, the ‘normal’ stuff.

Their whirlwind tantrums, how the simplest and most menial tasks can take hours, I feel, when that moment of peace finally comes, that we got through something huge, and I say, ‘If you two were anyone else, that would not have been cool.’ I mean it. I would not take that crap from anyone else. In so many ways being an adoptive parent is exactly as joyful, relentless, messy and profound as being any parent.

We don’t have crystal ball. We can’t predict the future. There will be many hurdles (their teenage years!), but there will be so much joy. We prepare as best we can, as we continue to learn from each other through a space of understanding, openness, honesty and love. No painting of perfection.

This future was not always predicted for our boys. When they went into the care system and due to their early childhood experience, there were initial conversations that they would need to be split up. The thought of this breaks my heart, but this is the reality for so many children across the country. Sibling groups are being split up as social services struggle to find them their forever home.

Last week You Can Adopt a nationwide adopter recruitment campaign which aims to raise awareness of adoption and bust myths around who is eligible to adopt launched Brothers and Sisters. A new campaign aimed at potential adopters & approved adopters to consider adopting family groups and highlights the benefits of adopting brothers and sisters together.

There are currently 2,030 children waiting to be adopted in England, of those 890 are part of a family group. 520 children who are part of a sibling group have been waiting for 18 months or more to find a home.

Adopting two (or more) children definitely comes with it challenges, but the bond between our two is one of my favourite things to watch develop, grow and thrive. They are the best of friends and like every best friend they have their up and downs but they are never not there for each other. They would not be the children they are now if they had been split up and in my honest opinion it would have been hugely detrimental to their long-term mental health.

If you are thinking about adopting, or only considering it, please check out You Can Adopt’s latest campaign because you may find you have more room, a little more money, and that car, may not be as small as you think.

Captain Tom 100 Challenge


Help to raise funds for St David’s and celebrate Captain Sir Tom’s amazing achievements in a special fundraising event over his birthday weekend.  

St David’s are inviting you, your family, and friends to take part in the Captain Tom 100 challenge from Friday 30th April to Monday 3rd May.  This is help raise funds for St David’s and to celebrate Captain Sir Tom Moore’s amazing achievements over his birthday weekend. 

Friday 30th April would have been Captain Sir Tom Moore’s 101st birthday and to celebrate this year his family have pledge to celebrate his life in an event that everyone around the world can get involved in – the Captain Tom 100 

Get involved  

All you need to do is dream up your Captain Tom 100 – an activity of your choice based around the number 100 – and do it anytime and anywhere from Friday 30th April through to Bank Holiday Monday 3rd May. 

Your 100 could be walking 100 steps or running 100 metres, scoring 100 goals, baking 100 cakes, climbing 100 stairs, hopping 100 laps of the garden, building 100 sandcastles, writing a 100-word poem, flipping 100 pancakes – anything at all, inside or outside (within current Government Guidance)It’s your chance to do it your way! More ideas can be found here 

Fundraise or donate
Once you’ve decided what you’re doing, you can fundraise or donate to St David’s and share your 100 on social media, using #CaptainTom100 and tag us @adoptionwales.  

You can set up a fundraising page or donate directly to St David’s by following the link https://bit.ly/2QdnW6F .   

You can find out more in general at CaptainTom100.com  

We hope you’ll join the thousands of people around the world taking part in Captain Tom 100 and spread his message of hope while raising funds for St David’s Children Society which will be used directly to help the children and families who need support 

Start Fundraising Now https://bit.ly/2QdnW6F  

Any amount is very much appreciated  


Adoptive parents, healthy relationships & adoptive families

Senior Practice Consultant Dee and Clinical Supervisor and Adult relationship counsellor Carola, discuss adoption and the impact this can have on families. They touch upon the importance of healthy couple relationships, working together as adoptive parents and much more. For more information visit www.relate.org.uk/cymru.

A Message and Note of Reflection from Wendy

I wanted to write to all of you who use our services and reflect on the year just gone; to those individuals or couples making that first tentative contact with the Society about adoption to families who remain in contact with us through our adoption support services.


The Society has gone through one of the most unprecedented times in our history as we have all adjusted to a different world. In the midst of this global turbulence we quickly mobilised all our services so that we were able to respond to you albeit in a different way – through the wonders of technology – I think we are all now so used to seeing each other on screen which I know doesn’t replace the face to face contact that we all need and all miss. I know for some of you, we have arranged home visits following all the necessary risk assessments and I do hope this blended approach has been helpful.


I am conscious that for many of you this year has brought many personal challenges – anxiety about vulnerable relatives and friends, loss, missing seeing family and friends for a drink, meal, hug. Alongside this coping with other uncertainties such as jobs, finances and having to remain grounded for those who rely on us- particularly children who have not only needed all the things parents generally provide but to absorb other roles that for some bring different challenges such as taking on the teacher mantle as you battle with home schooling.


Within all of this turbulence I also wanted to send a message of optimism – Over the past year our family of adopters has grown by 29, we have placed a further 28 children with their new families and creatively reached out to you through coffee mornings/ evenings. I have been able to join you at these events and really welcomed the opportunity to talk to you and listen to your thoughts on how we can improve our services to you .Our partnership relationships with our colleagues that make up the National Adoption Service ( including regional local authority adoption teams) has never been more positive.


We have also provided a range of training opportunities in collaboration with The Family Place  a therapeutic organisation.  For those thinking about adoption we have set up a new  workshop to talk in more detail about what this journey may entail. The feedback from this has been very positive. Thus with your support we have not only survived but thrived.


So what do we hope for the next 12 months – I think we all long for a return to some normality –opening our office up again to you, organising events which will all give us the opportunity to meet socially. Whether that will be possible this summer remains in the balance but we are already making plans for a big family event in  2022 which will be our 80th Anniversary. If anyone has any suggestions as to how we could celebrate this special event please feel free to contact me directly.   In the meantime we do remain totally accessible at whatever stage of the adoption journey you are at through a blended approach of face to face visits particularly for those going through the assessment process or need adoption support and  via technology.


May I finally wish you all a peaceful Easter break as we all look forward to brighter days ahead

Adoption UK – Connected Service


Connected is the name of a bespoke service for adopted children age 7- 10, young people age 11 – 25 years old, and an 18-25 year old group.

The monthly groups aim to improve children and young peoples’ self-confidence, build self-esteem and reduce the sense of isolation which some adopted children experience and also develop life skills. This is achieved by offering a range of activities such as art, drama, circus skills, healthy eating/cooking and music sessions to name but a few.

Find out the full details here.

These monthly sessions are offered in limited areas at the moment (Carmarthen, Swansea and Cardiff, and soon to be in Brecon and south east Wales) however we hope over time more groups may be developed and become available across Wales.

Want to know more? If you are interested in our existing groups or would like to express interest in a group starting in your area, please complete the Enquiry Form on the link above and send to wales@adoptionuk.org.uk


Christmas Card Competition

Our Christmas Card competition is now closed.

Congratulations to our winners!

We received many entries for all age categories and we love them all! It was hard selecting three winners, but don’t worry, keep an eye out on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages to see all your designs showcased throughout December!

From our CEO, Wendy:

Thank you to all our brilliant artists who submitted entries to our Christmas card competition. The standard was exceptionally high and all the pictures will  go on display in our art gallery at the office.

Many congratulations also to our 3 winners Griff, Oliver and Morgan for their imaginative and creative designs.

Adopting Together – Laura and Steve

“We spent lockdown getting ready to welcome two adopted children to our home”

“It feels like all our Christmases have come at once! They feel like they’re ours already and we haven’t even met them yet.”


First-time parents Laura and Steve* have just had the news that they’ve been approved to adopt a little brother and sister. They’ll be moving in to the couple’s home sometime in October.


The couple met in 2012 and got married three years later. On one of their very first dates they talked about having children and both knew that they wanted a family.


“As we met later in life, we didn’t want to waste any time,” explains Laura, who’s worked with children for the last 18 years. “I was thrilled when Steve said he wanted children too but after several unsuccessful rounds of IVF, we realised that it just wasn’t meant to be for us.


“We had already started discussing adoption before the end of the last round and neither of us had any doubts about it at all. I feel like we took a negative situation and were able to turn it into a positive. To be honest, we’ve never seen adoption as a second choice, we just see it as a different way of completing our family.”


As Steve says, “What’s been great is that since deciding to adopt, we’ve been on the same journey together. When we were going through IVF, I was very aware that it was Laura who was having to take the medication, it was her body that was being affected and sometimes I felt pretty helpless. With adoption, we’re both in it together. We’re completely equal and just feel that this was meant to be.”


The couple first started doing some research a year ago, in August 2019, and came across the Adopting Together website.


Adopting Together is the first project of its kind in Wales to deliver a targeted approach to finding suitable adopters for specific children and offer a bespoke package of therapeutic support for both the children and the adopters through every stage of their childhood, until the child turns 18.


Led by St David’s Children Society, the service aims to find families to adopt children who have been waiting the longest for a family. Typically, these tend to be children who are over four years old, who are brothers and sisters who need to stay together, who have additional needs or uncertainty around their development or who are from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background.


Steve explains, “The lady we spoke to when we first called to enquire about adopting was so friendly and helpful. We were obviously both grieving for the fact that we couldn’t become parents biologically but she was so understanding of our situation that we felt at ease straight away and just knew we were doing the right thing.”


The couple had a home visit from their social worker soon after their initial call and then attended a series of training workshops, which they both found incredibly enlightening.


Steve says, “For me, the training was like a massive light bulb moment – everything that we had previously read about adoption suddenly made perfect sense as they gave us practical and real-life examples of the world that we were about to step into.

“They really encourage and guide you into this very different, therapeutic method of parenting, bringing the pages of the books to life. It was actually very emotional too as it made us both look back at how our own childhoods and understand our own parents shaped the way that we will now parent our children.

“When you’ve had a loving family around you all your life, you can take it for granted and just don’t realise what an impact that just being loved has on you – or what an impact not being loved, or experiencing neglect or a chaotic start to life can have on a child. I honestly believe that every parent should have training like this!”

More sure than ever that adoption was the right path for them, Laura and Steve then had to fill in a detailed application and undergo a rigorous series of checks but were approved to be adopters in August.


They first saw the photo and profile of the two children they’ll be adopting at a profiling event that had to be held over Skype during lockdown. They expressed interest in three different sibling groups and their social worker explored each one before coming back with advice on which would be the best match.


Steve says they had no fixed idea about the children they wanted to adopt before starting the process.


“I know that most people probably go into this with a rough idea of the type of child they are looking for but we honestly didn’t mind. From the very start we weren’t looking for ‘the perfect children for us’. We just wanted to find children who we would be the right parents for, if that makes sense?”


“We knew we would have been happy to adopt up to three children and both felt very strongly that we didn’t want any siblings to be split up. We’re both very close to our siblings and to us, it just didn’t seem right to take a child away from their brother or sister when they’ve already been through so much trauma in their little lives.


“Although we know that having two children join our family at once will probably be more challenging than just one child, having each other will hopefully help them adjust to their new lives with us.”


Laura adds, “As we’ll be older parents, I think people were probably expecting us to adopt older children but we both have so much energy that our social worker just kept saying that we would be perfect parents for this little boy and girl, and we trusted her completely.”


After agreeing that they wanted to continue with the match, the couple were then shown more recent photos of the children and much more detailed information from the foster carers’ report. One of the siblings has a medical issue, which is common among children who are waiting to be adopted, but as Steve explains, that doesn’t concern them.


“If we had been able to conceive naturally, we wouldn’t have known how our children would have turned out in terms of their health, development or ability, so we really are not worried about that at all.


“Throughout our own childhoods and growing up, there’s never been any pressure on us and Laura and I feel the same way about our children. We’ll always encourage them to do whatever they want to do but just want them to be happy.”


The next step in the Adopting Together process was a ‘Team for the Child’ meeting, where the couple met with the social workers, foster carer, psychologist and health professionals to find out as much as possible about the children they were hoping to adopt and explore different parenting styles.


“Before that meeting, we thought we already knew a lot about the children but the level of detail they went into that day was incredible. They gave us a huge amount of information about them both, as a pair and individually, which really helped us to feel like we know them already. It was also a really good way of identifying any possible issues that might come up in future and get us thinking about how we can adapt our parenting techniques.”


The couple have since been through lots more training, have been buddied up with other adoptive parents who’ve already been through the programme and have been able to give them advice and support, have seen videos of the brother and sister playing together and have seen them over a Skype call with their foster carer, but they still haven’t actually met them yet.


Laura says, “When we saw them in the background over Skype, we just couldn’t take our eyes off them. They just immediately felt like they were ours. They even look a bit like us, and have got the same colour hair and eyes as Steve.”


As well as preparing themselves to be parents over the last few months and creating introduction books and videos for the children, to help them get to know their new family, the couple have also been busy getting their house ready for the two little ones to arrive.


“We had a huge clear-out over lockdown and although we were probably jumping the gun a bit as we hadn’t been approved at that stage, we’ve had two of the bedrooms decorated and ready for the children to arrive since July!


“We’ve kept them pretty neutral and really similar so that they can make them feel like their own rooms as they grow but for now, they’re full of cuddly toys and things that we think they’ll like. They’ve each got a teepee in their rooms too, which we hope will be their safe place, when they’re feeling sad or unsettled,” says Laura, who knows that there will be plenty of challenges ahead.


“Everyone keeps telling us that this is the perfect end to our story but we know it’s really just the beginning. We do think that it will be tough as well as amazing but we’re prepared for that. In fact, I think we’re much more prepared now than we would be if we’d been able to conceive naturally because of all the help and support we’ve had, the therapeutic play sessions and the training workshops.”


Steve admits he’s had limited experience with children until their niece was born two years ago, but that’s made him want to be a dad even more than ever. After working with babies and toddlers for her whole career, Laura says her experience at work has definitely helped her to feel more prepared.


“I adore children and have always been surrounded by them so it just wouldn’t feel right for me to not to be a mum. I’ve always dreamt about having twins so when people ask how we’ll cope with two at similar ages, I’m not scared by that. It feels like the most natural thing in the world to me.”


The couple will finally get to meet their two children over the next few weeks but the transition from their foster carers’ home will be gradual, giving the children time to adjust and feel comfortable with their new parents, new home and new lives.


As the day draws closer, they can’t help feeling apprehensive about how the children will feel.


“We are both really excited about meeting them and welcoming them into our home but I have to admit, I am nervous too. Luckily, children have always really taken to me but my biggest fear is ‘what if they don’t like us?’ I’m sure that’s natural but I just want it all to work out well, for us and for them.


“When I think about what’s ahead of them over the next few months, I just have such a mixture of emotions. In one way, my heart sings at the thought of having them both here with us but at the same time, it’s breaking at the thought of putting them through all this upset and upheaval.


“We just have to keep reminding ourselves that it’s the right thing for them in the long run and although they are both really happy at the moment with their foster carer, we will be their forever family. We’ll give them the stability and security they need and will love them so, so much.”


As Steve says, even though they haven’t met the children yet, the whole experience so far has been life-changing.


“We haven’t had a single regret since starting this process. We’ve just felt so supported throughout and have really enjoyed the journey we’ve been on already.


“We are realistic about what’s ahead but we’re going into this with our eyes wide open. What’s absolutely brilliant about Adopting Together is the level of support we’ll get, not just in the early days when the children first move in, but we’ll have access to therapeutic parenting advice, clinical psychological support and just someone to talk to about any issues that may crop up throughout the children’s childhood, if we need it.


“We just feel ready now and are looking forward to all four of us helping each other as we grow together as a family.”


If you are interested in adopting a child through Adopting Together, visit www.adoptionwales/adoptingtogether for more information or call 029 2066 7007.



* Names have been changed for confidentiality reasons

Adopting together – Tony and Mike

“Lockdown has been tough but the support we’ve had has got us through.”


Mike and Tony were one of the first families to experience the Adopting Together model, having adopted a little boy just after the service first launched in 2018.


“We both always knew we wanted children, ever since we got together 18 years ago, but we needed to make some lifestyle adjustments to make sure we were completely ready,” says Tony.


“Mike had been working late shifts in his job in retail so he moved into recruitment to allow him to work during office hours – we just wanted to feel completely prepared to welcome a little person into our lives.


“I’m definitely the researcher in our relationship so I was the one who first started trawling the internet for information. I saw that St David’s Children Society had had fantastic reviews and that it had just launched a new child-focussed adoption service that offered additional support to the adopters and to the children, so I gave them a call.


“From the very start, our expectations have been blown out of the water. We’ve been really impressed by the initial training, the social workers, the flexibility and the ongoing support we’ve received from Adopting Together.


“At the initial training, they really do prepare you for what’s to come and don’t sugar coat it in any way, which was great for us as we wanted to go into this with our eyes wide open. They take you through the worst possible scenarios for what could happen when the children move in, how they could react to different circumstances and teach you ways to deal with every eventuality.”


Adopting Together is the first project of its kind in Wales to deliver a targeted approach to finding suitable adopters for specific children and offer a bespoke package of therapeutic support for both the children and the adopters through every stage of their childhood, until the child turns 18.


Led by St David’s Children Society, the service aims to find families to adopt children who have been waiting the longest for a family. Typically, these tend to be children who are over four years old, brothers and sisters who need to stay together, have additional needs or uncertainty around their development or – due to concerns over inter-racial adoption – from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background.


Tony adds: “When it came to the stage of finding the right child for us, both of us were excited but anxious too. We just didn’t know what to expect. We’d been told about the family-finding and profiling events that Adopting Together organises where the prospective adopters go along to either meet foster carers and social workers and see profiles and videos of children, and it was great.


“We’d had a very fixed idea beforehand of the type of child we wanted to adopt but that all went out of the window during the process and we found ourselves drawn to a few children in particular who were nothing like what we’d originally had in mind.


“We first saw a video of our little boy at a profiling event and immediately feel in love with his little smile.


“We got all of his background information, quickly decided that we wanted to go ahead and very soon afterwards, we were told we could progress with the match.  We were thrilled! You then have to go through a series of checks and approvals, where you find out loads of information about the child, meet their social worker, foster carer and get a really detailed psychological report,  but you’re supported every step of the way and encouraged to talk about any concerns or doubts you may have.


“We were so excited to welcome him to our home but knew it would be very emotional and unsettling for him so the guys at Adopting Together made sure that the transition was taken at his pace and completely led by him.


“When he first came to us, our son was extremely quiet and shy. He started at nursery and would just sit in the corner and play by himself, not wanting to interact with any of the other children but you should see him now! He loves to be the centre of attention, he has loads of friends, buckets of confidence and we can’t stop him talking!


“That’s not to say it’s all been plain sailing. About a year ago, he was waking regularly with night terrors, which was incredibly upsetting. We wanted to make sure there was nothing more we could be doing to help him and were able to just arrange a session with the psychologist who was a huge help.


“Lockdown has been tough for him, as you’d imagine. He just couldn’t understand why he couldn’t see his friends, or go to the park, or see his grandparents, and started to revert back to how he’d been when he first came to us. We both found the whole experience so stressful as we just weren’t sure what to tell him or how to make him feel better when everything around us seemed so bleak.


“The guys at Adopting Together were brilliant though. We were able to have a Zoom call with the clinical psychologist to discuss how we were dealing with the situation. They reassured us that some of the techniques we were using were great but also suggested some alternative solutions.


“We talked to him very honestly about what was going on in the world and made sure he knew that we were feeling upset by it all too, so he didn’t feel isolated in the way he was feeling. We even bought him a punchbag and named it coronavirus so that he could take out all his anger and frustration on that.


“It’s just so helpful to have access to this ongoing support as issues like this do crop up, as you’d expect, so to be able to speak to a professional who’ll give us a new, expert viewpoint, when we’re feeling unsure about what to do is an absolute godsend.”


Asked to reflect on the last two years, Mike said the reality of adopting a child had more than lived up to his hopes and expectations.


“When we look back on the last two years and how far we’ve all come, we feel so proud. When we entered into this, we wanted to bring up our son in the way that we’d both been brought up. I grew up in a small town in Yorkshire and spent all my school holidays with my grandparents so I think I’ve got quite old school beliefs when it comes to parenting.


“We both think it’s really important not to let him rule the roost, to teach mutual respect and reward him when he’s good, but also establish really clear boundaries so that he knows what’s acceptable and what’s not. We’ve stuck to our guns on that and it’s really helped to have picked up loads of great parenting tips from Adopting Together that we wouldn’t have thought of before.


“We absolutely love our son to bits and can’t imagine life without him. Yes, we’ve had the sleepless nights, the tantrums, and a good few challenges to deal with so far, but because we were so prepared and have had such great support, we’ve been able to deal with all of that. The training and support is unique to Adopting Together and the after-care couldn’t be better.


“We are really grateful to them for helping us to get the family we always wanted.”


If you are interested in adopting a child through Adopting Together, visit www.adoptionwales/adoptingtogether for more information or call 029 2066 7007.

Partnership graded as ‘Outstanding’

The St. David’s Children Society Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Cardiff University has been given the highest possible grading of ‘Outstanding’ by Innovate UK.

Funded by Welsh Government, the KTP was a collaboration between St. David’s Children Society, Cardiff University School of Psychology and Cardiff Business School. Supported by the National Adoption Service Cymru the KTP purpose was to strengthen adoption services, with the Adopting Together Service growing from a need identified to find families for children who wait the longest and were most at risk of having their plans changed to long term fostering arrangements.

The KTP began in September 2017. Led by St. David’s, in partnership with Barnardo’s Cymru, Adoption UK and our therapeutic partner, The Family Place, the Adopting Together Service officially launched in June 2018. Since then the Service has continued to grow, placing over 14 children with permanent families. Under its unique model, children and their families have been offered psychologist-led and therapeutic support prior to, and within the first year of placement.

The ‘outstanding’ rating reflects the whole innovative approach undertaken by the KTP to establish the Service, inclusive of support from Cardiff Business School and School of Psychology. Through direct guidance from Dr Jane Lynch at Cardiff Business School, Adopting Together created a collaborative structure behind its delivery that represented transformational change in the procurement of social care, aligning with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Led by Professor Katherine Shelton, Cardiff University School of Psychology is evaluating the impact of the service for children and their families. Dr Shelton stated that, “This multi-agency project has been transformative in its approach to supporting some of the most vulnerable children in our society. We are absolutely delighted to see recognition from Innovate UK of this work with the ‘outstanding’ grading”.

Wendy Keidan, CEO of St. David’s stated, “The KTP has acted as an enabler of collaboration using the expertise of academic, therapeutic, statutory and voluntary sector partners to find adoptive families for some of the most vulnerable children in Wales. We are grateful for the support of Welsh Government in facilitating this unique relationship which is now going from strength to strength and to Innovate UK for recognising this sector leading approach to social care.”

Suzanne Griffiths, Director of the National Adoption Service said “I am very pleased to see this recognition from Innovate UK.  It is testament to the uniquely collaborative approach that underpins this new and much needed service.”