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‘Outstanding’ adoption services partnership

17 August 2020

Silhouette of child holding hands with adults

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Cardiff University and St. David's Children Society has been graded ‘outstanding’ by Innovate UK.

Known as Adopting Together, the partnership was set up to strengthen adoption services, by finding and therapeutically supporting permanent homes for children who wait the longest for a family.

The project began as a Welsh Government funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership in September 2017.

The multidisciplinary team led by St. David’s Children Society, brought together University experts Professor Katherine Shelton, from the School of Psychology, and Dr Jane Lynch, from Cardiff Business School, with therapeutic partners and colleagues from the National Adoption Service, Barnardo’s Cymru, Adoption UK and The Family Place.

Developing innovative and sector-leading adoption services, grounded in nationally identified needs, Adopting Together offers a specialist programme of psychologist-led adoption support, pre- and post- adoption placement.

The new approach to service provision has already enabled 14 children, all of whom have contended with significant early adversity, to be placed with their forever families.

Professor Shelton said: “I’m absolutely delighted to see ‘Adopting Together’ receive the recognition it deserves...”

“This highly innovative service means that children who typically wait longer than 9 months to be placed with adoptive families, often those children with complex health needs or who are part of larger sibling groups, are being therapeutically supported to make the transition to their new home.”

Professor Katherine Shelton Professor

Dr Lynch added: “The project was unique in many ways...”

“By bringing together psychology and business level support, the adoption service has been transformed through innovative procurement and effective collaboration between public sector and third sector organisations to support some of the most vulnerable children in Wales.”

Professor Jane Lynch Professor of Procurement

The grading delivered by Innovate UK follows a track record of success achieved by the partnership team, who also won an Institute for Collaborative Working award in 2018 and was highly commended at the Go Wales Awards in the same year.

Julia Bottomley, from Innovate UK’s Post-Award Team, said: “Each KTP final report is independently assessed at the end of the programme and I was so pleased to inform the team that the Partnership received the highest grade.

“I would like to congratulate all those involved in achieving this outcome and to thank them for their contribution to this success.”

Through direct guidance from Dr Lynch, and with support from KTP Associate Coralie Merchant, Adopting Together has created a structure behind its delivery that represents transformational change in the procurement of social care and aligns with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Coralie said: “Being a KTP Associate was a unique opportunity to work across disciplines, sharing and gaining understanding in a variety of areas...”

“It’s fantastic to see the hard work of the collaborative team behind the Adopting Together KTP be recognised for their collective efforts in establishing and implementing this service.”

Coralie Merchant KTP Associate
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Find out more about KTPs with Innovate UK and Welsh Government.

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