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‘Adopting Together’ wins top UK award

28 September 2021

A partnership which places children who wait the longest for adoption in Wales has won a top UK award for its societal impact.

The Adopting Together collaboration triumphed at Innovate UK’s annual Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Awards.

The KTP project brought together St David’s Children Society - an adoption specialist dedicated to finding families for vulnerable children across Wales - Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, and Cardiff Business School, supported by Welsh Government.

The KTP allowed St David’s Children’s Society to team with Cardiff’s academic expertise, translating research findings from the Wales Adoption Cohort Study into a practical methodology to facilitate the adoption of priority children.

By gathering expertise from clinical psychologists and therapeutic social workers, Adopting Together has improved the lives of many children by delivering early intervention, increased the placement of the number of children who wait for adoption and new commissioning models.

St David’s Society Chief Executive Wendy Keidan, Cardiff School of Psychology’s Professor Katherine Shelton, and KTP Associate Coralie Merchant jointly welcomed the award.

‘Everyone is simply delighted to receive recognition for what has been a truly collaborative enterprise working with the team and colleagues across the National Adoption Service and therapeutic partner from the get-go. Behind the hard work in creating a therapeutically informed Adopting Together service to meet the needs of adoptive families has been a shared vision of making a difference to children’s lives. We would like to also thank Welsh Government for their support in helping to make this vision a reality.”

First introduced in 2020, the Societal Impact award recognises the wider impacts of KTP, including projects who have delivered a societal, social, or environmental benefit.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said: “I’d like to congratulate St. David’s Children Society and Cardiff University on this superb achievement. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships offer real solutions to difficult problems for industry, and this award recognises their ability to help solve societal problems too by having a real world impact and genuinely improving people’s lives. In Wales industry and academia continue to collaborate so positively for the benefit of future generations and the Welsh Government will continue to support that.”

The UK’s knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) scheme helps organisations in the UK to innovate and grow. It does this by linking them with an academic or research organisation and a graduate.

A KTP enables an organisation to bring in new skills and academic thinking to deliver a specific, strategic innovation project through a knowledge-based partnership.

Cardiff University has an outstanding track record for developing award-winning KTPs.

Business Manager Paul Thomas said: “Huge congratulations to everyone involve in winning this award. We are delighted that Innovate UK have yet again recognised Cardiff’s ability to deliver exemplary partnerships that have huge value and lead to significant impact.”

For further information about developing partnerships with Cardiff University, contact

[Winners Interviews]

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