Ministerial praise for new regional adoption agency

At the formal launch of Adoption@Heart earlier this year were Project Manager Carola Bennion, Service Head Mark Tobin, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Head of Children and Young People in Care Alison Hinds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Children’s Services Emma Bennett, Walsall Council's Assistant Director of Children’s Services Debbie Carter, Sandwell Children’s Trust's Director of Operations Pauline Turner and Iona Payne, Head of Children in Care and Provider Services at Dudley Council.
At the formal launch of Adoption@Heart earlier this year were Project Manager Carola Bennion, Service Head Mark Tobin, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Head of Children and Young People in Care Alison Hinds, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Director of Children’s Services Emma Bennett, Walsall Council's Assistant Director of Children’s Services Debbie Carter, Sandwell Children’s Trust's Director of Operations Pauline Turner and Iona Payne, Head of Children in Care and Provider Services at Dudley Council.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families has written to offer his congratulations on the launch of regional adoption agency (RAA) Adoption at Heart.

In his letter, Nadhim Zahawi MP says he is delighted that adoption services from Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall have come together to recruit adoptive parents for children needing forever families across the region, whilst ensuring they get the best possible support.

He thanks colleagues for their hard work throughout the RAA's development and wishes it the very best with its ongoing commitment to give both adopters and children the best possible adoption journey.

Adoption at Heart, which launched on 1 April 2019, is hosted by the City of Wolverhampton Council and operates throughout the Black Country. It is designed to help speed up the adoption process, improve the life chances of those children waiting to be adopted, and improve adopter recruitment and support.

Mr Zahawi wrote: "I am confident that RAAs will improve services for children and families. RAAs are an opportunity to ensure the best possible outcomes for those going through the adoption process through more efficient matching and family finding, coordinated adopter recruitment and a consistent offer of adoption support."

Mark Tobin, Adoption at Heart Service Head, said: “We are a relatively new RAA – although the four authorities have been working closely together for the last 14 years – so it’s great to see our hard work in developing the agency has been recognised.

“The success in launching the agency could not have happened without the support, determination and commitment of all those involved in the project that lead to the launch of the new agency. I would like to thank them for all their efforts in getting us to this point.

“We are confident that Adoption at Heart will improve services for children in need of adoption across the region with improvements in practice and effectively recruiting adopters for the children most in need of families.”

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at City of Wolverhampton Council added: “I am pleased that Nadhim Zahawi MP has written personally to thank the team at Adoption@Heart for all their hard work.

“One of the outcomes on our new council plan is that children and young people get the best possible start in life and I believe that our RAA will ensure this happens.”

The eligibility criteria for adoption includes people who are single, in a relationship whether married or not, a same sex couple, in employment or not working, or already have children or not. You also must have been living as a resident in the UK for at least 12 months.

For more information about Adoption@Heart, and to find out more about adopting a child including more on the eligibility criteria, please visit www.adoptionatheart.org.uk.


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