We held our annual Life Journey Story Awards WBAS HQ in December. The judging panel consisted of Swansea Council Child and Family Head of Service Julie Davies, Neath Port Talbot Fostering and LAC Principal Officer Victoria Smith, a WBAS adopter, WBAS Regional Manager Nichola Rogers and a member of the WBAS adoption support team.

Nominations were made by professionals in a number of categories including Adopters, Birth Families, Foster Carers, Staff and Creative Contact.

The winning family of the adopter category were nominated for their outstanding annual Letterbox reports and were an example of excellent standards which can be used for future benchmarking. The winner of the birth parent category was also particularly pleasing for all involved in that the birth parent can now complete her own independent, highly creative, annual Letterbox contact.

The winners from the foster carer category included two families from across the WBAS counties who really impressed the judging panel with the level of care and heart that went into their transition work from foster care into adoption.

It was clear to see to the judging panel that Life Journey Story work was something very precious and special to the carers to ensure the easiest possible transition. Naturally, Teulu the WBAS mascot paid a visit to all the winners to present prizes and certificates of recognition.

Megan Sampson WBAS Senior Adoption Support Social Worker, who won the WBAS staff award for her efforts on a particularly complex Later Life Letter said, “Our children often present with a lot of muddles and questions, if they don’t get the answers to these questions they can ‘make it up’. Life journey work supports not only our children but also their parents to gain a realistic understanding of their birth history and family.”

From the social worker category, Lisa Wilcox Deputy Team Manager with the Cwrt Sart Community Children’s Team won overall. Despite a busy work load Lisa said, “Life Journey Story work is something very precious, something much more than a work process.” Many nominations were received in this category reflecting the passion and commitment that goes into the subject. Social workers who were highly commended included Juile Urch from Bridgend Council, Kathryn Mantanvi Davies from NPT Council and Katie Holmes and Vera Edore from Swansea Council.

Julie Davies Swansea Council Child and Family Head of Service said, “It was an honour and a privilege to be part of this year’s panel for the annual Life Journey Story Awards. We saw some absolutely amazing stories brought to life through the creativity of social workers, foster carers, our staff and the children and their families. It’s fair to say we all had tears in our eyes at some point”.

Life Journey Story work makes a massive difference to adopted children’s sense of identity and belonging so WBAS would like to thank everyone across the authorities for their good work and care.

WBAS team up with the Bridgend Ravens RFC and Penybont FC!Let’s Talk Adoption…Virtual Talk with Award-Winning Adoption Author Holly Marlow