The National Adoption Week Awards recognise and celebrate good practice and exceptional achievement among those working or involved in adoption in England.

On Tuesday 16 October we hosted the annual National Adoption Week Awards at the Foundling Museum, London to celebrate good practice and exceptional achievement among those working or involved in adoption in the UK. The winners were as follows:

Adoption Social Worker of the Year

Natalie Bendall

This is what one adoptive parent said about the winner:

“She is the reason we chose to adopt through this agency. She is totally committed to her role and is dedicated to providing positive outcomes for adopters and adoptees. Without her dedication, knowledge, and honest approach, we would not have stuck with this match – and would not have our two beautiful girls. I just wish others starting their adoption journey could have her!”

Excellence in Adoption Practice

One Adoption West Yorkshire

This is what the judges said about the winners:

This organisation has been at the forefront of adoption agency regionalisation. It opened its doors in April 2017 and, in its first year, has reduced delay for children, rationalised processes and established innovative ways of working.

Adoption Support Practitioner of the Year

Sarah Sharwin

This is what our nominators said about the winner:

“She has spent her working life supporting families in need and is a hugely committed and skilled Family Support Worker. In the last 18 months she has worked with 28 families and 49 children and consistently goes the extra mile and delivers real change”.

Adoption Blog of the Year


This is what the nominator said about the winning blog:

“As an adopter I need friends, I need support and guidance, I need to know others who champion our children so passionately. Adoption: The Bear Facts has been a gateway to an online community that has educated, sustained, and supported me, and kept me sane on my own adoption journey”.

Adopter Champion of the Year

Claire & Richard Taylor

This is what the person who nominated them said:

They regularly share their experiences at information sessions and their approach to adoption encourages those entering the process to be open to meeting birth parents and have a positive view of them. They have supported the agency with adopter training and they continue to champion and advocate for adoption. All while caring for – and supporting – their own 4 adopted children.

Dr John Simmonds

This is what one of the nominators said about the winner:

“He has shown commendable service over several decades to some of the most vulnerable children in our society, their families and to the professionals who support them. John commands tremendous admiration and respect, nationally and internationally, and is amongst the country’s foremost authorities on adoption, as evidenced by the invitations to participate in national committees, advise government departments and comment on national media”.