THE CABINET of Bridgend County Borough Council has agreed to sign a revised National Adoption Service (NAS) in Wales partnership agreement.

NAS was established by Welsh Government in 2014 to improve services for all those affected by adoption in Wales by bringing national and regional services together.

A report presented to the Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday 9 March said a new partnership agreement has been drawn up with the aim of streamlining services to increase recruitment of prospective adoptive families and increase post-adoption support.

In Bridgend County Borough, services are overseen by Western Bay Adoption Service and despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of approved adopters, including more within the region which has meant more children have been able to stay locally.

There has also been a rise in the number of enquiries from potential adopters.

Councillor Nicole Burnett, Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, said: “I welcome this work to improve the prospects of looked-after children of finding a stable, permanent home as soon as possible and provide support to youngsters and families to ensure those relationships last.

“During the pandemic, support has been offered through online support groups and nearly 550 families have had some sort of help from the service in 2020-21.

“This new agreement will help to strengthen links between the organisations involved. It also aims to help regional children’s services to better predict and respond to changing demand and link to external opportunities for planning and funding services.”

For more information about adoption in Bridgend County Borough, visit the Western Bay Adoption Service website .