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Cardiff Law researcher joins interdisciplinary team for crucial adoption study in Wales

31 October 2014

The new National Adoption Service for Wales will be launched during National Adoption Week, on 5 November. The number of children who were adopted in Wales in the year ended March 2014 rose by 5 percent on the previous year to 35. However, many more children who cannot be brought up in their own family await a suitable adoptive placement and adoptive families may have short-term or ongoing needs for support.

As part of a study launched on 1st October, children’s rights expert Dr Julie Doughty has teamed up with researchers in psychology, social sciences and policy from both Cardiff and Bristol University to promote successful adoption in Wales.

The Wales Adoption Cohort Study, which is funded by the Welsh Government (National Institute for Social Care and Health Research), will investigate the factors and characteristics that underpin early placement success families who have adopted children in Wales. This research aims to provide evidence to support policy development and improve adoption services.

The study hopes to find out:

* What support families need in the first year after their child or children come to live with them, and to what extent are these support needs met.

* What factors help families flourish in the first year.

* What the impact of decision-making prior to children being placed (and time taken to agree an adoption plan) had on the family.

The project team is Dr Katherine Shelton (Psychology), Professor Sally Holland (Social Sciences), Dr Julie Doughty (Law) and Dr Heather Ottaway (School for Policy Studies, Bristol).

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