Retirement of Gerry Cooney -

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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

St. David’s Children Society and AFA Cymru are pleased to currently have a number of vacancies available on our website.  Please take a look at the jobs section of our website for further details:

Currently we are looking to fill the following positions:

Deputy Director

Administrator – St. David’s

Senior Regional Administrator – AFA Cymru

Independent Social Workers

The met office has released a red alert relating to adverse weather conditions in South Wales. We have made the decision to close the office with immediate effect. The office will close today and tomorrow: Thursday 1st March and Friday 2nd March, reopening on Monday 5th March. The duty desk remains open.

The Support Group scheduled for the morning of Saturday 3rd March has been cancelled.

Thank you.

St. David’s

Senior Social Work Practitioner. Adoption.  Salary: £33,437 – £35,444. (SP38-40).

Full time permanent post (37 hrs/wk). Cardiff.


Based within the social work team at St. David’s, an exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced Social work Practitioner. The post holder will have a mixed caseload covering all aspects of the adoption role, including assessment activity and adoption support for families and children.


Supportive working environment with a strong emphasis on individual & team development.

10% pension contribution + comprehensive BUPA cover. Generous leave entitlement.

St David’s is committed to achieving equal opportunities.


Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years adoption experience or 3 years in a child & family setting. A recognised social work qualification applies.


Closing date for applications is Monday 29th  January.   Interviews week commencing 12th February.


Job Description

Person Specification

Application Form


For additional information visit our website or contact: Helen, Anna or Mel.

28 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3BA.

Tel No: 029 2066 7007  Email:   Website:

Strengthening adoption services for children who wait

Cardiff University and St David’s Children Society have partnered for a project aiming to strengthen adoption services.

Meeting a distinct need identified by the National Adoption Service, experts will support St David’s with a new recruitment strategy for adoptive parents for harder to place children. This includes children over four years old, brothers and sisters, and those with complex needs or medical uncertainty.

Staff will also look to deliver effective inter-agency working between the statutory and voluntary sector.


Read more about it here on the Cardiff University Website.

If you have adopted either through St.David’s or another agency we would be delighted if you could take a few minutes to complete this short survey on adoption support for the National Adoption Service. Your views are really important to us!

Senior Social Work Practitioner. Adoption.  Salary: £30,978 – £34,746 pro rata (SP36-40).

Two posts. One full time permanent post (37 hrs/wk). One temporary part time (18.5 hrs/wk) to cover maternity leave for 12 months.
We require 2 two qualified social workers to join our experienced adoption team. These posts will be based in Cardiff.

Duties entail undertaking the full range of adoption recruitment, assessment & child placement activity and support.
Supportive working environment with a strong emphasis on individual & team development.
10% pension contribution + comprehensive BUPA cover.
St David’s is committed to achieving equal opportunities.
Applicants must have 2 years adoption experience or 3 years in a child & family setting. A recognised social work qualification applies.

Closing date for applications is Thursday 10th November.   Interview date: Friday 18th November.

Application Form 2016
Job description PERMANENT
Job description TEMPORARY
Personal Specification

For additional information visit our website or contact: Helen, Anna or Mel.

28 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3BA.

Tel No: 029 2066 7007  Email:

About National Adoption Week
National Adoption Week 2016 will take place from the 17th to 23rd October and the theme is embodied by the hashtag #SupportAdoption. As in previous years, the need to find families for some of our most vulnerable children remains at the heart of this year’s event. However, it is clear that a National Adoption Week that did not also address the difficult realities of adoption today would be doing a disservice to those children and the agencies working on their behalf. National Adoption Week 2016 will aim to encompass all aspects of adoption, to demystify and clarify the adoption process, reflect the challenges of adoptive parenting, share individual stories, showcase and signpost to best practice and invite anyone whose life or heart is touched by it to #SupportAdoption.

“A Good Clean Heart” by Alun Saunders


We are delighted to help promote an upcoming Welsh Tour of the magnificent play by award-winning playwright Alun Saunders, “A Good Clean Heart”.  Alun, a St. David’s Adopter, will be touring the play around Wales culminating in a week-long stand at the Wales Millennium Centre during National Adoption Week 2016.

Two brothers, raised apart in West Wales and South London, now reunited.
This dynamic, bilingual play in English & Welsh from award-winning playwright Alun Saunders is the rollercoaster story of HEFIN & JAY, where things go from brilliant to horrific in a heartbeat.

Dau frawd wedi’u magu ar wahan yng Ngorllewin Cymru a De Llundain, yn ailuno, ailgydio, ailgysylltu.
Dyma gynhyrchiad deinamig o ddrama doniol a theimladwy Alun Saunders mewn dwy iaith: stori HEFIN a JAY a noson mwyaf cyffrous – ac hunllefus – eu bywydau.



A Good Clean Heart, The Other Room

“…a face smackingly amazing evening…”

“Alun Saunders cleverly constructed and sharply written play A Good Clean Heart [takes] the tale of two brothers separated by adoption at a very early age as its focus but from there somehow manages to give a darned good look at identity, nationalism, race, social deprivation, class, growing up, insecurity, guilt, parenting, sacrifice…well that’s enough for now….in just over an hour. Phew. And he does it really, really well.”

“…the divisions contrast and values that are inherent in the bilingualism of Wales, the barriers and misunderstandings that exist (and not only from outside Wales) and the cultural shorthand our language creates adds a richness to the story.”




04 – 28/08/16 (no Monday performances)

07 – 09/09/16


(no website) Swyddfa Docynnau / Box office. 01758 704 088





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