who we are

St David’s Adoption Service is known as a VAA (Voluntary Adoption Agency), this means that we are a not-for-profit registered charity and that our service is independent from social services within a local authority.

Our sole focus as a VAA is to recruit, assess and support adoptive families. Regional Adoption Services not only do this, but also work directly with the children whose permanency plan is adoption, as well as work with the birth families, facilitate any arrangements for contact between the child and the birth family, and also complete assessments for stepparent adoptions and inter-country adoptions.

As a VAA we work in close partnership with the Regional Adoption Services in Wales to recruit families for the children which the Regional Adoption Services are unable to place with adopters that they have approved.

Strategic Plan 2023-2026 English Cymraeg

Management Team

Wendy Keidan Chief Executive Officer

I started working for St.David’s in 2015 as the Operational Manager and was subsequently appointed as the Deputy Director. I became the CEO in 2018 and am also the Agency Decision Maker for prospective adopter approvals. Before joining St. David's I was the Director of BAAF Cymru.

Jason Baker Deputy Director

I joined St David’s in 2019 where I take lead role for the Adopting Together Service and AFA Cymru. Before I joined St David’s I worked for Barnardo’s, Directed my own company and worked in a number of Local Authority settings.

Anna Nyamhotsi Adoption Services Manager

I joined St David’s in 2015 initially as an adoption team manager and then as an adoption services manager. After qualifying in 2000 I worked as a social worker in a child care team and then as a social worker and team manager in a local authority adoption team. I am also a panel advisor to our adoption panel.

Martina McCrossan Adoption Services Manager

I have worked in Adoption and Permanency for most of my career, since becoming a social worker in 1997. I joined St David’s Adoption Service in 2018 as a Team Manager before being appointed Adoption Services Manager in 2021. I am also an adoption panel advisor.

Catherine Gates Fostering Team Manager

I started working for St David’s in 2017, initially employed as a Senior Social Worker, I was appointed to the post of Team Manager in 2021. I started my career with experiences in Duty and Assessment, a Family Centre and in Fostering and more recently and prior to both my roles here, I worked in Child Protection.

Angela Bennett Finance and Resource Manager

I am a qualified accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). I joined St David’s in November 2010 having previously worked in both the private and charitable sectors.

Coralie Merchant Business Development Manager

I joined St David’s in 2020 as the Business Development Manager, having previously worked within the organisation as a Cardiff University Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate, supporting in establishing the Adopting Together Service. Prior to this I worked in a number of children’s charities in the development and delivery of services.

Support Staff

Jackie Marston Senior Admin Officer

I joined the Society in 1986 as a junior secretary and remained until 1994 when I took a career break to start a family. I returned in 1998 as a senior administrator.

Shaun Houcke Senior Admin Officer

I joined St David’s in 2023, however, I have a personal connection with the services as I adopted through St David's in 2020. This experience has given me a unique perspective for families looking to adopt. I'm dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of those involved in the adoption process, and I strive to create a supportive and seamless experience for families.

Valerie Leung Senior Administrator

I joined St David’s in September 2015 as a Senior Administrator to support the training and consultancy work of AFA Cymru. In May 2019 I moved across to the main St David’s office where I currently provide administrative support to the Adopting Together Service. I have worked in a number of administrative posts over the past 40 years, included CID Admin for the South Wales Police Service, Child Protection Training for Cardiff City Council and as a Senior Administrator for BAAF Cymru.

Daniel Warner Adoption Services Development Officer

I have been at St David's since 2014 having previously worked for another fostering and adoption charity.

Social Work Team

Alyson Senior Social Worker

I have been a Senior Social Worker at St David’s since September 2020. I qualified as a social worker in 1988, and worked in Child Protection Teams in Wales before moving to England in 1999. I worked in some of the London Boroughs in the child protection/safeguarding teams. I was a Team Manager of a Child Care Team in Berkshire for 12 years, before returning to Wales in 2019.

Clare Senior Social Worker

I have worked at St David’s since September 2020 as a Senior Social Worker. Prior to joining St David’s I worked for 14 years in the field of Fostering & Adoption for another children’s charity. I started my social work career in local authority working for the child disability team.

Donna Senior Social Worker

I have been employed as a senior social worker for St David’s since April 2021. I qualified in 2000 with a Master’s Degree in social work and have worked in a variety of posts including Local Authority, NHS and Charitable organisations, the most recent being within a specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team. I qualified as a Systemic (Family Therapy) Practitioner in 2020.

Elaine Senior Social Worker

I qualified in 2003 with a post graduate diploma and Master's Degree in Social work from Cardiff university. I worked in Local authority child protection teams and field work teams within children and family services for several years. After this I became a supervising social worker on a fostering team and moved into Adoption in 2012. I joined St. Davids in 2018 as a senior Social Worker.

Glenda Senior Social Worker

Marrianne Senior Social Worker

I joined St David’s in 2016 as a Trainer Consultant for AFA Cymru. I changed role in March 2021, taking a post as a senior social worker. Before working for AFA Cymru, I had worked in local authority child protection, fostering and adoption. I had also worked as a lecturer in health and social care and childcare. In addition to my current role in St David’s, I am an independent trainer consultant for Coram BAAF and AFA Cymru.

Sue Senior Social Worker

I have worked for St David’s as an Independent Social Worker for a number of years before I joined them as a permanent member of staff in August 2021. I have been a Social Worker for 28 years, having begun my career as Hospital Social Worker and then working in a variety of roles within Adult Services before making the transition into adoption in 2010. I remember thinking at the time, “my goodness this is complex and so much to learn”. I soon came to realise that adoption is an ever- evolving area and one that I am constantly learning from. I have been fortunate during my career to see positive change and developments in adoption that have benefitted both the children awaiting adoptive placements as well as the prospective adopters going through the process to become adoptive parents, which I have welcomed.


Terry Champkin

Terry is an adoption experienced person.

Phillip Chick

Phillip works in the National Health Service in Wales, specialising in Mental Health Services.

Terry Connor

Terry is a retired CEO of a Voluntary Adoption Agency.

Delyth Ann Evans

Delyth is a retired Social Worker who has worked within third and statutory sector settings specialising in adoption. Delyth worked for Adoption Matter in developing adoption support services.

Dr Kerry Ann Holder

Kerry Ann is a Clinical Psychologist working in National Health Service in Wales and is an adoption experienced person.

Arfon Jones, (Vice Chair)

Arfon is an adoption experienced person and a lay preacher.

Andrew Lusk

Andrew is a retired senior manager with extensive experience of working in the third sector. He currently also sits on the board of an autism organisation supporting children and young people in education.

Mandy McGowan

Mandy is a foster carer who works with young children helping them to move on to permanent arrangements.

Frank Moloney

Frank is an adopted person and an adoptive parent . Has a background in business development in various sectors, his principal business being partner, leading the professional team in the Cardiff cluster of Specsavers practices .

Katherine Shelton, (Chair)

Katherine is a Professor at Cardiff University School of Psychology and the project lead for the Wales Adoption Cohort Study.

Matt Clark

Matt is an experienced communications consultant who been discovering and telling brand stories for over 25 years, with specialisms including brand positioning, communications planning and copywriting.