Adoption UK welcomes the news that adoption waiting times in Wales have halved but warns that more still needs to be done to improve mental health services if the full benefits of speedy placements are to be realised. 

Ann Bell, Adoption UK’s director Wales, said: “I am delighted that adoption waiting times for children in Wales have halved since the National Adoption Service for Wales was set up.

“This is real progress and this has to be good for children but we still need to find more prospective adopters for those children who are deemed as harder-to-place.

“It is also worth noting that children being placed in a timely fashion, whilst a good thing, is only the start of their adoption journey.  Children who have experienced trauma and loss are very vulnerable and are more likely to suffer the effects of developmental trauma as they get older. This is why more improvements still need to be made to mental health services – otherwise we will not see the full benefits from these more speedy placements.” 

Suzanne Griffiths, NAS operations director said better performance management and regional partnership working are behind the drastic drops in how long looked-after children in Wales wait for adoption placements.