Christmas Message from CEO Wendy Keidan -

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MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2022

As this year draws to a close, I just wanted , on behalf of us all at St. David’s to wish you a merry Christmas and very happy 2022. The past year has continued to challenge us in many ways and as we close the year we are now thinking about the impact of a new variant on ourselves and those we hold dear. However, there is still so much to be joyful about – We have continued to increase our family of approved adopters by 15 and have to date placed 26 children including 4 through our Adopting Together Service.

We were delighted to commence face to face meet ups with some of our families after many months just seeing faces over a screen – I think we all agree nothing quite replaces that face to face interaction. These  events were held outside and after talking to many of you we are already making plans about how we can extend our support groups to reach more of you so watch this space.

By popular consent a Christmas Party for children and their parents was held in late November. We secured a covid safe and very large space for this event and even Father Christmas appeared suitably distanced but very present for all the children. The look of joy on their faces was a memory to savour as we all retreat back into our small family bubbles.

We have also been delighted to welcome many new people making that first tentative enquiry about adoption. We are here to answer those initial important questions and if you proceed continue to be a responsible guide throughout the process and well beyond.

As we look to 2022 we have many plans that we will want to seek your views on. It is important for us as an Organisation who aspires to be the best that we can be to listen to and then shape our services from those who have experience of adoption. I therefore look forward to meeting many of you over the coming year.

 

Thankyou as ever for your support to the St.David’s family and warmest wishes over the festive season to you all

Wendy

 

NADOLIG LLAWEN A 2022 HAPUS AC IACH IAWN

Wrth i’r flwyddyn hon ddod i ben, yr oeddwn am ar rhan pob un ohonom yn Dewi Sant, ddymuno Nadolig Llawen i chi a gyd a 2022 hapus iawn. Mae’r flwyddyn ddiwethaf wedi parhau i’n herio mewn sawl ffordd ac wrth i ni gau’r flwyddyn rydym bellach yn meddwl am effaith amrywiolyn newydd arnom ni ein hunain a’r rhai sydd yn annwyl i ni. Fodd bynnag, mae cymaint i fod yn llawen o hyd ynghylch – Rydym wedi parhau i gynyddu ein teulu o fabwysiadwyr cymeradwy gan 15 ac rydym hyd yma wedi lleoli 26 o blant gan gynnwys 4 drwy ein Gwasanaeth Mabwysiadu Gyda’n Gilydd.

Roeddem wrth ein bodd yn dechrau cwrdd wyneb yn wyneb â rhai o’n teuluoedd ar ôl misoedd o dim ond gweld wynebau dros sgrin – rwy’n credu yr ydym ni gyd yn cytuno bod dim yn disodli’r rhyngweithio wyneb yn wyneb hwnnw. Cynhaliwyd y digwyddiadau hyn y tu allan ac ar ôl siarad â llawer ohonoch rydym eisoes yn gwneud cynlluniau ynghylch sut y gallwn ymestyn ein grwpiau cymorth i gyrraedd mwy ohonoch felly gwyliwch y lle hwn.

Trwy ganiatâd poblogaidd cynhaliwyd Parti Nadolig i blant a’u rhieni ddiwedd mis Tachwedd. Cawsom le diogel a mawr iawn ar gyfer y digwyddiad hwn ac roedd hyd yn oed Siôn Corn yn ymddangos yn addas o bell ond yn bresennol iawn i’r holl blant. Roedd edrych ar lawenydd ar eu hwynebau yn atgof i’w sawru wrth i ni i gyd encilio’n ôl i’n swigod teuluol bach.

Rydym hefyd wedi bod yn falch iawn o groesawu llawer o bobl newydd sy’n gwneud yr ymholiad petrus cyntaf hwnnw am fabwysiadu. Rydym yma i ateb y cwestiynau pwysig cychwynnol hynny ac os ewch ymlaen i fod yn ganllaw cyfrifol drwy gydol y broses ac ymhell y tu hwnt.

Wrth i ni edrych i 2022 mae gennym lawer o gynlluniau y byddwn am ofyn am eich barn arnynt. Mae’n bwysig i ni fel Sefydliad sy’n anelu at fod y gorau y gallwn fod i wrando arno ac yna siapio ein gwasanaethau gan y rhai sydd â phrofiad o fabwysiadu. Felly, edrychaf ymlaen at gwrdd â llawer ohonoch dros y flwyddyn i ddod.

Diolch byth am eich cefnogaeth i deulu Dewi Sant a’ch dymuniadau cynhesaf dros dymor yr ŵyl i chi i gyd

Wendy

 

 

 

 

 

Join the Big Adoption Conversation on Thursday 27th January 10.00am to 12.30pm 

 

Help shape the future priorities for adoption in Wales Register – www.adoptionvoices.wales

 

This free virtual event is for adoptive families, adopted people, social workers, representatives from the Welsh Government, senior managers, strategic planners and practitioners in the adoption community.

 

Using the latest survey results of Adoption UK’s Adoption Barometer report alongside other information we will begin to consider the priorities that will guide the work of the National Adoption Service (NAS) as it develops the emerging Adopt Cymru 2025* plan.

 

Please register for one of the following workshops,

 

  1. Teenage years and transitions to adulthood
  2. Education
  3. Contact with birth family
  4. Becoming an adoptive family

 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with details for joining the event. www.adoptionvoices.wales

 

*The current service plan for NAS runs to the end of March 2022. NAS is therefore aiming to develop a plan for Welsh adoption services up to the end of 2025 – this will be known as Adopt Cymru 2025.

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Ymunwch â’r Sgwrs Mabwysiadu Fawr ar Ddydd Iau 27eg o Ionawr 10.00yb i 12.30yp 

 

Helpu i lunio blaenoriaethau’r dyfodol ar gyfer mabwysiadu yng Nghymru Cofrestru – www.adoptionvoices.wales/?lang=cy

 

Mae’r rhith ddigwyddiad rhad ac am ddim hwn ar gyfer teuluoedd sy’n mabwysiadu, pobl wedi’u mabwysiadu, gweithwyr cymdeithasol, cynrychiolwyr o Lywodraeth Cymru, uwch reolwyr, cynllunwyr strategol ac ymarferwyr yn y gymuned fabwysiadu.

 

Gan ddefnyddio canlyniadau diweddaraf adroddiad Baromedr Mabwysiadu Adoption UK ochr yn ochr â gwybodaeth arall, byddwn yn dechrau ystyried y blaenoriaethau a fydd yn llywio gwaith y Gwasanaeth Mabwysiadu Cenedlaethol (GMC/NAS) wrth iddo ddatblygu cynllun Adopt Cymru 2025* sy’n dod i’r amlwg.

 

Cofrestrwch ar gyfer un o’r gweithdai sy’n dilyn,

 

  1. Blynyddoedd yr Arddegau a Phontio i fod yn Oedolyn
  2. Addysg
  3. Cyswllt â theulu biolegol
  4. Dod yn deulu mabwysiadol

 

Ar ôl cofrestru, byddwch yn cael ebost cadarnhau yn cynnwys gwybodaeth am ymuno â’r digwyddiad.

 

*Mae’r cynllun gwasanaeth presennol ar gyfer GMC yn rhedeg hyd at ddiwedd Mawrth 2022. Felly, nod GMC yw datblygu cynllun ar gyfer gwasanaethau mabwysiadu Cymru hyd at ddiwedd 2025 – gelwir hwn yn Adopt Cymru 2025.

 

A partnership which places children who wait the longest for adoption in Wales has won a top UK award for its societal impact.

The Adopting Together collaboration triumphed at Innovate UK’s annual Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Awards.

The KTP project brought together St David’s Children Society – an adoption specialist dedicated to finding families for vulnerable children across Wales – Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, and Cardiff Business School, supported by Welsh Government.

The KTP allowed St David’s Children’s Society to team with Cardiff’s academic expertise, translating research findings from the Wales Adoption Cohort Study into a practical methodology to facilitate the adoption of priority children.

By gathering expertise from clinical psychologists and therapeutic social workers, Adopting Together has improved the lives of many children by delivering early intervention, increased the placement of the number of children who wait for adoption and new commissioning models.

St David’s Society Chief Executive Wendy Keidan, Cardiff School of Psychology’s Professor Katherine Shelton, and KTP Associate Coralie Merchant jointly welcomed the award.

‘Everyone is simply delighted to receive recognition for what has been a truly collaborative enterprise working with the team and colleagues across the National Adoption Service and therapeutic partner from the get-go. Behind the hard work in creating a therapeutically informed Adopting Together service to meet the needs of adoptive families has been a shared vision of making a difference to children’s lives. We would like to also thank Welsh Government for their support in helping to make this vision a reality.”

First introduced in 2020, the Societal Impact award recognises the wider impacts of KTP, including projects who have delivered a societal, social, or environmental benefit.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I’d like to congratulate St. David’s Children Society and Cardiff University on this superb achievement. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships offer real solutions to difficult problems for industry, and this award recognises their ability to help solve societal problems too by having a real world impact and genuinely improving people’s lives. In Wales industry and academia continue to collaborate so positively for the benefit of future generations and the Welsh Government will continue to support that.”

The UK’s knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) scheme helps organisations in the UK to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate.

A KTP enables an organisation to bring in new skills and academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.

Cardiff University has an outstanding track record for developing award-winning KTPs.

Business Manager Paul Thomas said: “Huge congratulations to everyone involve in winning this award. We are delighted that Innovate UK have yet again recognised Cardiff’s ability to deliver exemplary partnerships that have huge value and lead to significant impact.”

 

 

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

 

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.”

 

 

 

This week (14th – 20th October) is National Adoption Week!

We are taking this week to celebrate our adopters and let you know how we can support you in your adoption journey!

Adoption Information Evening

Tuesday, 15th October
4 PM
St David’s Children Society (28 Park Place, Cardiff)

Have you been thinking about adoption but something is holding you back? Perhaps you think you’re not eligible to adopt, or you think it will be expensive? Are you unsure what an Adoption Agency actually does?

At our adoption evening we’ll answer all your questions about adoption. Come along and learn about St David’s as an organisation and how the adoption process looks, then ask us any questions of your own! If you like what you hear, you can even talk to us about how to start your adoption journey.

It’s not to be missed!

Follow along on social media!

We will be posting all week on social media, giving you information about the organisation, as well as being part of an exciting project with the National Adoption Service! Make sure you’re following us to keep up to date with us this National Adoption Week!

Twitter: @adoptionwales

Facebook: St David’s Children Society

Instagram: st.davids.children.society

LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week 2019

New Family Social’s LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week campaign returns from 4-10 March, 2019. This year’s theme is ’7 days to love’ with each day of the week focusing on different areas.

We’re thrilled that record numbers of adoption and foster care agencies are joining us and supporting the campaign this year.

Why the week’s needed

In 2018  there were 75,420 looked after children in England, an increase of four per cent from 2017. There’s an ongoing need for more people to provide foster care across the UK and for more people to consider adoption.

Despite a record proportion of same-sex couples adopting in England and Wales, LGBT+ people still report high expectations of discrimination from foster and adoption agencies. To counter this, LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering Week is a unique opportunity for agencies across the UK to come together and encourage more LGBT+ people to consider both pathways to parenting.

LGBT+ Fostering and Adoption Week is ran by New Family Social  who are the only charity led by LGBT+ adopters and foster carers.  St. David’s Children Society are proud members of New Family Social and have a strong history of assessing and placing with families who identify as LGBT+.  We will be actively supporting LGBT+ Fostering and Adoption Week.  If you would like to speak to somebody about adoption and live in Wales or Herefordshire please contact us on 02920 667 007 or email, info@stdavidscs.org

It is with very mixed feelings that I am writing this note that marks the departure of our long standing CEO of thirty years . After much deliberation, Gerry has decided to retire and go off and enjoy the fruits of his labour with his lovely wife Jo and two delightful girls Hannah and Emma not forgetting his faithful hound Dylan.

Retirement of Gerry Cooney

For those who have worked in the adoption sector Gerry’s name has been synonymous with St. David’s for many years. Indeed he started his career with the Society as a social worker in 1988 under Father O’Leary as the Director.  During those early days he worked alongside Sisters of the Catholic Church and of course our brilliant administrator Jackie who has lived the journey of the Society alongside Gerry.

Gerry’s tenure as CEO started dramatically. Faced with a failing organisation both financially and from the perspective of the Inspectorate, his tenacity, determination and vision saw it move from an organisation on the brink of closure to a highly successful Society. Today it is a proud partner of the National Adoption Service recognised for its innovation, creativity and quality of service provision.  A Senior Policy advisor said very recently to me “St. David’s is critical to adoption in Wales”
Gerry’s mission has always been the children and their right to family life. The Vision of St. David’s, “Where every child with an adoption plan is found a new family”, has been Gerry’s life work. Under his leadership 700 children have been placed with the Society – There can be no finer legacy to leave.

Gerry has achieved so much in his 30 years. He made a courageous decision to move away from the Catholic Church so that prospective adopters could become parents regardless of their sexuality. Today we have a thriving community of LGBT adopters who together with all our adoptive families belong to the St. David’s family.

A great strategist, Gerry was a lead visionary in the formation of the National Adoption Service speaking with eloquence and passion at the Cross-Party Committee of Inquiry into Adoption.  The Deputy Minister, Glenda Thomas who drove forward the principle model for NAS through legislation, consulted regularly with Gerry as a lead oracle in the field.

As I step into some very big shoes as the new CEO, I will endeavour to hold safe the team and all the families who we serve as Gerry has always done.

The adoption world in Wales is losing one of its greats.  On behalf of the team, Trustees, Panel and all our families we thank you and wish you a long happy and healthy retirement. You have served St. David’s impeccably and many, many children’s lives are all the richer because of you.

Wendy Keidan

It is that time of year again! Here is our Autumn Newsletter for 2018.  Click on the below link to keep up to date with all that has been going on at St. David’s Children Society.  We cover retirements, new starters, AFA Cymru, Adopting Together and even a staff member going to the Bowling World Championships in Las Vegas!

Final Newsletter 2018

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