Adoption UK Cymru is extending support for new adoptive families, thanks to National Lottery funding.

The First 1000 Days project provides essential peer-led support for adoptive families during their first three years together. A grant from the National Lottery Community Fund has enabled the project to continue, and to increase the range of activities available.

Adoptive parent and Project Lead, Stuart McCarthy-Thompson, said: “The early stages of becoming a parent are the most exciting and overwhelming times. Support from other adopters makes a huge difference and this is a key part of the First 1000 days project. The grant from the National Lottery Community Fund could not have come at a better time, as the number of families accessing our services has increased significantly over the last 18 months”.

The First 1000 Days project offers a range of peer-led resources including advice and support from experienced adopters, free training courses on topics such as life journey work and education, and access to community groups across Wales. Adoption UK Cymru will also grow its dedicated team of experienced volunteers who already gift over 600 hours each year to support families in Wales.

New adopters can sign up directly to the project at any time during their first 1000 days. Adoption UK Cymru is working with partners in the National Adoption Service to ensure that new adopters can access the project as soon as family life begins.

Suzanne Griffiths, Director of National Adoption Service (NAS), said: “We have a strong partnership with AUK Cymru as a provider of a wide range of adoption support services and are delighted that they have successfully achieved funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to continue this project which will provide adoptive families in Wales with advice, support and training when they need it.  

“NAS is fully committed to continually building on and improving the availability of adoption support in Wales. The most recent Adoption Barometer survey conducted by Adoption UK, positively highlighted how adoption support has increased since 2020, and we were pleased to note that adopters in Wales are now more likely to approach their agencies for support when they need it. Understanding adoptive parents, adopted children and young people’s priorities for support is paramount for us to deliver effective services, which is why we welcome the feedback from the Barometer and are pleased to see this additional funding being invested into adoption support in Wales.”

John, a parent who adopted through National Adoption Service, said: “Since having our child placed with us, we’ve had access to lots of great adoption support including training courses on challenging behaviours, life journey work, sleep strategies and wellbeing. It’s not always been easy and there have certainly been tricky moments since our child has been with us, but other experienced adopters have been very supportive and helped us throughout our journey.”

For more information: First 1000 Days Project