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Barnardos Post Adoption Service Launches Findings of Queens University Belfast Evaluation 

Spokesperson available - 086 0445966  

Friday 15 October.  Barnardos children’s charity today launches the findings of the Queens University Belfast Evaluation of its National Post Adoption Childrens Service, funded by Tusla the Child and Family Agency. The service provides specialist therapeutic services to children and teenagers who are adopted both internationally and domestically – and their parents. In 2019 the Barnardos Post Adoption Service was expanded to cover a national remit and in 2020 the children’s charity commissioned the evaluation to understand the value of the service – more than 210 adoptive parents and young people took part in the evaluation.

The young people identified three main benefits; the opportunity to talk about adoption, gaining insight into their own needs and reactions and learning to manage stress and difficult feelings.

A young person shared: “Just happiness, there would have been a lot of like sadness around me and that was never who I was because it was as I went into my teens it got worse and my parents always used to say where’s the happy bubbly child gone, and they can honestly say they got that back since I have gone there.”

Dr Mandi MacDonald, Head Researcher, School of Social Science, Education and Social Work, Queens University, Belfast said: “The parents who took part in the evaluation collectively had experience of all elements of the service, and most engaged with two or more aspects of the service. The parents sought support primarily for emotional and behavioural difficulties. Most noted improvement in these areas as a result of engagement with the service and notable improvements in helping them to support their children with overcoming their difficulties.” 

A parent said: “‘Contact with the service has completely changed my understanding of my son’s difficulties and my interpretation of his behaviour. That alone is hugely helpful to me in approaching our challenges differently and hopefully more successfully.’

Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly said: “We want to thank all the young people and parents who took part in this evaluation, and hope the support provided by our service continues to improve their lives. Since the Barnardos Post Adoption Service was expanded in 2019 to cover a national remit we have been able to double the number of families we could support. This evaluation will inform our ongoing efforts to further improve our support to these adopted young people and their parents and will include: further courses, workshops, and opportunities of young people to meet together. We welcome the commitment by Tusla the Child and Family Agency to the continued delivery of this service to families”.

Ms Siobhan Mugan, National Manager for Adoption Services Tusla said: “This independent evaluation shows that expanding the post adoption services to have a national reach makes a real difference for the children, teenagers and parents who use it. I’m delighted that we were able to invest in this important service, which is delivering high quality, relevant supports.”

Barnardos National Post Adoption Service can be contacted on 01 8134100.


Notes to Editor:

The Full Report is available to download here:
Barnardos – Post Adoption Service Evaluation

The Executive Summary is available for download here:
Barnardos – Post ADoption Service Evaluation – Executive Summary

For further information, please contact:   

Barnardos Media Office: 01 7080442 / 086 0445966  

Trudy McCarthy; 01 7080423  

Visit Barnardos Media Centre   

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About Barnardos

Barnardos’ mission is to deliver services and work with families, communities, and our partners to transform the lives of vulnerable children who are affected by adverse childhood experiences. Because childhood lasts a lifetime  

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