Regional Adoption Agencies
Regionalising Adoption The Department for Education (DfE) has asked all adoption agencies in England to consider joining up their local adoption services, including Voluntary Adoption Agencies in some way as well, to become Regional Adoption Agencies. Regionalising Adoption is the name of a paper issued by the Department of Education (DfE) about this in 2015. You can read the paper here. This paper sets out the Department for Education’s proposals to move to regional adoption agencies.
What is a Regional Adoption Agency? The government is not being prescriptive about the scale or geography that regional adoption agencies might operate at. They want the adoption sector to develop proposals that work for children and adopters, and respond to the characteristics and needs of their local region. They are interested in models that could deal with approximately 200 children a year and are expecting regional adoption agencies to deliver all adopter recruitment, assessment, training, matching and support functions, unless there are exceptional reasons otherwise.
What are the timescales for Regionalising Adoption in the South West? It is anticipated that this work could take several years. It is likely that the DfE will set a deadline that all regions need to be making progress towards some sort of regional adoption agency within 2 years. We know the government also wants to deliver Regional Adoption Agencies nationally by the end of this parliament in 2020.
What are the agencies in the south west doing about this? The partnership of councils and charities - Barnardo's, Devon County Council, Families for Children, Plymouth City Council, Somerset County Council and Torbay Council - is already part of Adopt South West and so each agency, with the other adoption agencies that formed Adopt South West, are now working together to decide how they might deliver a Regional Adoption Agency together.
How can I get involved if I want to? Let the staff at the adoption agency you are in touch with know you are keen to be involved and they will pass on your name to the Adopt South West staff working on this project.