A 'golden' first year for WWiSH

A pioneering adoption service is celebrating its first anniversary in style after scooping two prestigious awards and being praised in a government report.

WWiSH adoption service – delivered collaboratively by Warrington, Wigan and St. Helens Councils – won two prizes at the Improvement and Efficiency Awards 2013, a national competition honouring excellence in the public sector. At a ceremony in London, staff from WWiSH were handed gold in the “working together” category and bronze in the “innovation in social care” category. WWiSH was one of only two council services to win two prizes.

The award success came only a few weeks after the service was highlighted in a government report. The Department for Education cited WWiSH as a good example of local authorities working together in a report called Further Action on Adoption: Finding More Loving Homes. WWiSH is the only combined service of its kind in the North West and one of only two in the country. The government has made speeding up the adoption process one of its top priorities. It also wants to tackle the shortfall in prospective adopters compared to the number of children waiting to be adopted.  

WWiSH was launched in March 2012 by the three councils who agreed to merge their adoption services to save money and improve quality. Since then, 55 children have been adopted. The shared service has been able to cut the length of time children must wait before being placed with an adoptive family.   A successful marketing and publicity campaign to recruit potential adopters saw a surge in those coming forward seeking to adopt. WWiSH had 34 prospective adopters approved and currently has another 42 adopters being assessed.

Could you provide a forever family for a child awaiting adoption? If so, please contact WWiSH - call 01942 487272 or email wwish@wigan.gov.uk