BARNARDO’S Cymru is launching a new, personalised approach to finding forever homes for children who have been waiting a long time to be adopted.

In addition to general appeals for potential adoptive parents, the charity is to advertise details of specific children, their likes, their hopes and their challenges.

It is hoped the personal approach will attract more potential parents who are inspired by children’s particular stories.

Children like brothers Liam and Ben who have just spent their second Christmas in foster care. They are kind, loving boys but their difficult early life experiences means they will need extra support from their new family.

Barnardo’s Cymru Adoption and Fostering Service (BCAFS) specialises in finding homes for some of Wales’ most vulnerable children. They include older children, sibling groups, those with black and minority ethnic heritage and those where there is uncertainty about their development.

The charity believes all deserve a permanent, loving home with parents who can offer them the support they need.

Caroline O’Shaughnessy, BCAFS operational manager, said: “These children have had a tough start to their young lives and waiting for a family for any significant length of time often creates additional problems. We hope that telling something of their individual stories will help encourage more potential adoptive parents to come forward.”

Barnardo’s has joined forces with the other voluntary adoption agencies in Wales under the Adopting Together umbrella, a child-focussed adoption project supported by the Welsh National Adoption Service which brings together the knowledge, skills and experience of different agencies.

Adopting Together is unique in the way it develops packages of support to help families every step of the way.

A specially trained Barnardo’s worker will complete a nurture/trauma timeline for every child so that all parties have as much information as possible on which to base support.

Each family will work with a clinical psychologist and experienced Barnardo’s social worker and a tailored package of support will help a child transition from foster care to their new family.

Parents are offered specialist training programmes and have professional support for as long as they need it. There is also chance to meet and learn from experienced adopters through an Adopters’ Buddy Scheme developed as part of Adopting Together by AdoptionUK.

There is a 24/7 advice and support helpline plus support groups where fellow adopters have chance to meet up.

Caroline said: “The qualities needed in adoptive parents are understanding and the ability to be loving, playful and kind. They need to have space in their lives, as well as people around them to share the joys and challenges.

“Our early work with them will support a therapeutic framework to understand the child’s needs and enable adopters to be the best parents they can be.”

n Anyone who would like to learn more can do so at or contact Barnardo’s Cymru Adoption and Fostering Service on 02920 493387.