Welsh children in care may lose on adoption opportunities due to the absence of support funding available in England, professionals have claimed.
A new national adoption service is due to launch in the region next week but recently announced support funding for English adopters will not be available to Welsh families. The £19 million unveiled in September is intended to help fund therapy for adopted children from troubled backgrounds.
Phil Evans of the Association of Directors of Social Services said he was concerned that the additional funding available in England could tempt Welsh families interested in adoption to look over the border.
“If there’s too great a difference between England and Wales then we may lose potential adopters for Welsh children and we can’t allow that to happen. We need to understand why the offer in England seems to be better.”
Ann Bell, of charity Adoption UK, echoed his sentiments, highlighting the emotional difficulties of many adopted children.
“That need has been recognised in England and they have evidence earmarking funds for therapeutic work will make a difference. Children in Wales are no different, so the need is clearly there.”
Ministers have said additional support for adoptive families will the responsibility of the new Welsh agency.
The National Adoption Service for Wales was announced in June by Deputy Minister for Social Services Gwenda Thomas in June.
Photo of the Welsh flag by Cloudsurfer_UK via Flickr