A Message From Wendy -

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Dear all,

I just wanted to write to you all and hope that first and foremost you, your family and loved ones are keeping safe and well.

We continue to live in unprecedented times and I know that all of you are  having different experiences of home life as a family whether you are at the early stages of your adoption journey, waiting for children to be placed with you or have adopted some years ago.

For some of you having this time together has been welcomed with children really enjoying their one to one time with Mum /Dad. For others it has been incredibly tough with children really missing the structure and routine of school. Whilst we continue to work differently through various platforms such as zoom whatever your experiences we are here to help and support you so please do not think that you need to do all of this on your own. Our phone number is 02920 667007 or email info@stdavidscs.org and we will put you in touch with a duty social worker who is available Monday to Friday 9.00am- 5.00pm ( 4.30 pm on Fridays).

There are some parts of the adoption process that are inevitably taking longer such as the safe movement of children from foster care to adoption. We are all working very hard right across the sector and across professional disciplines to assist and support processes wherever possible. However, I appreciate that any delays to you becoming parents will be an anxious time for you. Please do not hesitate to discuss these anxieties with us and we will do all we can to assist and support you.

We have set up fortnightly mid-week coffee morning support groups, continued with our quarterly weekend support groups with guest speakers, there is a closed Facebook group for peer support and lots of ideas of how to keep children entertained during lockdown on social media.

Facebook – @StDavidsChildrenSociety

Twitter –  @AdoptionWales

Instagram – @st.davids.children.society

AFA Cymru are facilitating workshops and training via webinars so ask your social worker about them.

There is also additional support available through AUK who have introduced new helpline hours  Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

7- 9 pm and during the day Mon – Fri – 10.00am – 2.30pm. You can contact them on 0300 666 0006 (option 5)

They have also got useful information on the following links:

https://www.adoptionuk.org/pages/category/covid-19

You will also find helpful advice on the National Adoption Service website:

https://www.adoptcymru.com/

For those of you thinking about adoption we are very keen to hear from you on 02920 667007 or info@stdavidscs.org .  St. David’s remains very much open for business, and is eagerly poised to respond positively to the next stage in Welsh Governments recovery plan when it is known.

I wish you and yours all the very best.

Wendy

 

Wendy Keidan

Chief Executive Officer/ Prif Weithredwr 

#PROUD TO ADOPT

This week is LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week! We welcome all LGBT+ adopters and we would love to support you in growing your family.

Thinking about adoption? Contact us for an information pack or just a chat with one of our social workers!

 

When our daughter’s social worker visited our home to see that we could accommodate the little person about to enter into our lives, she mentioned the “honeymoon period” that adopters often have. We said we hope that our “honeymoon period” would be as short as possible, because it’s a honeymoon for adopters but a nightmare for the adoptee.

Well, how about no honeymoon period at all?

The day we brought our daughter home wasn’t anything like we imagined it would be. We knew it was going to be a bit sad for her, but we thought there would also be happiness, excitement. Instead, it was one of the toughest days in the lives of all three of us.

The first few weeks were incredibly challenging and lonely. We had moments of happiness that felt like they were surrounded by grief and sadness. We remembered that we were told this might happen in our training, and our social worker Jane was always just a phone call away – day or night, 24/7/365.

That made it easier, and the tools that St David’s provided us with were producing results, which gave us a great sense of empowerment. We felt like “we got this”- and that whatever would be thrown at us, we can handle it.

Adopting an older child has its difficulties. It sometimes feels like we’re “sharing” her with her birth family and foster carer. She’s also burdened with so much guilt, that often if we have happy moments she’ll feel like she has to compensate by expressing her loyalty and love to the people she’s no longer with.

On the other hand, in many ways it makes things easier. She can talk and has the self awareness to help us understand what’s bothering her. She also has clear memories of her family and a connection to her past. That, we feel, takes a huge burden off her in terms of her identity and also off of us as we don’t need to “carry” her past for her – she knows what she’s been through.

There are amazing highs and devastating lows in this journey. Two weeks after our daughter moved in with us, one of our two cats of 9 years died unexpectedly. It was crushing, but we had to deal with it while we had a child who was herself grieving and finally letting out the pain that she had kept inside for a long time.

For a long time it didn’t really feel like parenting. It felt like supporting a child who was going through stuff that adults would struggle with, a child who feels like at any moment her whole world can turn on its head and once again she’ll have to start over.

Of course, when that period finally started to end after the first couple of months, other challenges came up. There’s always something, and every day has its trials and tests. But it’s different now: it feels more like parenting, she feels more and more like a child who’s confident in her place in the world. A child with a feeling of self-worth and who isn’t afraid of new experiences.

Seeing that difference in her, and hearing her social worker and other professionals say what a different girl she is to the one who moved in with us, that makes it all worth it. With St David’s amazing support, we’re doing OK.

 

We’ll be at Pride Cymru in Cardiff on 24th and 25th August! Come by the NAS stand to see us — we’ll be giving out pride postcards and chatting to people about adoption. Come and speak to our social workers or hear what some of our adopters have to say!

For some time now, St. David’s Children Society have hosted Adoption Drop In Sessions, every Tuesday and Thursday from 12-2 at our Cardiff office, for people who are thinking about adoption and have questions they would like to ask.

We appreciate that for many people who initially contact us, adoption may have been something that they have been thinking about for a long time and that first contact may seem really daunting and to speak to a stranger over the phone about it may seem like a really odd thing to do!

Our Drop In sessions are a really informal way for people to find out more, ask questions of an experienced member of staff and to find out about the next steps.

If after the session, you feel that adoption is not right for you, that is absolutely fine, but if you feel like the time is right for you, we can advise you of the next steps.

Our goal is that you find out all the information that you need at whatever stage you are at, and you feel comfortable in talking to us.

No appointment is needed, just come along between 12 and 2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we will put the kettle on and hopefully answer any questions you have!

If you would like any further information, please call us on 02920 667 007

 

Are you interested in adoption but don’t know where to start?  If you live in Wales or Herefordshire, please see all the details below:

St. David’s Children Society, Wales’ longest serving adoption agency, are holding an Information Evening on Tuesday 21st May 2019 at 4pm.  We will talk about:

– Who are St. David’s Children Society and what do we do?

– Who can adopt?

– What is the process and how long will it take?

– What children are available for adoption?

There will be lots of opportunities for you to ask questions, whether that is part of a group, or privately.

Please contact us on 02920 667 007 or email info@stdavidscs.org to book your space as places are limited.

Our office and the Information Evening will be held at:

28 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3BA

 

 

St. David’s Children Society are delighted to announce that yesterday we were awarded the Innovation Award at the Institute for Collaborative Working for our new project, Adopting Together.

In collaboration with Barnardo’s, Adoption UK, Cardiff University, the 22 Local Authorities in Wales and supported by National Adoption Service, Adopting Together has emerged from a common and clearly defined purpose: securing permanence for children who have waited for a significant length of time for a family. These children in Wales are traditionally but not exclusively children over 4, BME children, part of a sibling group or have additional complex needs or uncertainty regarding their development.

Congratulations to everyone involved for all their hard work over the last 12 months to get this project off the ground and successfully placing children with their forever families.

https://www.instituteforcollaborativeworking.com/

Innovation Award Winner – Institute for Collaborative Working

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