Leaders from the adoption system have been invited to join the group. Members will have a vital role to play in the development of a new National Adoption Service. They will also consider the significant reforms necessary to transform current adoption systems.
Mrs Thomas has confirmed that Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick OBE has been appointed as chair of this group. Kevin has a professional and academic background which will allow him to contribute to the development of policy advice. He will encourage group members to work in partnership to define and deliver an adoption service that meets the needs of people in Wales.
The group will consider aspects of the adoption process that are best performed on an all-Wales basis, whilst recognising that there are functions that should remain the responsibility of individual local authorities. It is important to allow individual adoption agencies to concentrate on placement arrangements for the child.
Deputy Minister Gwenda Thomas said:
“I am very pleased that Kevin has taken up this challenging role and I have every confidence in the group delivering a whole-system model that will realise the full potential of this important commitment.
“It must address current concerns without losing the undeniable strengths of the existing system – achieving change without detriment.
“My aim is to transform adoption services, to shift the placement pattern and encourage re-investment in permanency services through enhanced promotion of adoptions and increasing the pool of adopters."