WALES – Wales outlines plans for adoption reform

Deputy Minister Gwenda Thomas AM

The Deputy Minister for Social Services and Children has outlined plans for significant reform to adoption in Wales.

March will see the launch of a public consultation on the Welsh Government’s proposed Social Services Bill.

The Bill explores the remit and functions of a national service that will work with existing adoption agencies to reduce bureaucracy so that organisations can focus on efficient delivery as well as service change.

The proposals aim to enable reinvestment in permanency for the children who cannot be reunited with their families and provide greater equity in after-adoption services.

The national model will see adoption agencies in Wales working together, recognising the specialist nature and skills required to advance adoption services.

This will reap greater benefits and equity in the arrangements for adoptions including the pooling of prospective adopters and specialist skills; enabling reinvestment in permanent placements for children; and greater equity in after-adoption services through training and after-support programmes.

Deputy Minister Gwenda Thomas said:

“Without a programme of transformation, social services will not meet the needs of the people of Wales – they are simply not sustainable.

“This programme for change is only achieved through strong partnership and collaborative working with local authorities, independent and the voluntary sector. Local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies need to work together in harnessing the specialist nature of the adoption service.

“We believe that establishing a national body will help to transform the adoption service. The Social Services Bill I outlined at the end of last month will be central to this.”

Welsh Government

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