Inter-agency adoption: subsidy of the inter-agency fee

Dance, C., Neil, E. and Rogers, R. (2017) Inter-agency adoption: subsidy of the inter-agency fee. Research Report. Department for Education. ISBN 9781781057476.

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When the plan for a “looked after” child is adoption, it is important to reduce unnecessary delay in the adoption process. One reason for delay is that local authorities (LAs) may not have prospective adopters who can meet a child’s needs amongst their “in-house” adopters (that is adopters the LA has recruited and approved).

Suitable adopters may be available through other LAs or voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs), but this comes with an associated inter-agency fee where the LAs responsible for the child must pay the adopters’ agency a minimum fee of £27,000 (costs are higher for sibling groups) in order to compensate for the cost of adopter recruitment, assessment and support. A reluctance to pay this fee may act as a barrier to inter-agency placements, affecting particularly those whose characteristics make them ‘harder to place’.

In response to these concerns, the government began subsidising the inter-agency fee for a fixed period for all children defined as ‘harder to place’ in July 2015, in order to encourage LAs to consider more inter-agency matches and potentially reduce waiting times for children. The groups of children considered within this initiative as ‘harder to place’ are those aged 5 or older, disabled children, children who need to be placed with one or more siblings, children with a black or minority ethnic background (BME) and children who have been waiting over 18 months from entry into care to placement. This intervention aimed to encourage more (and speedier) matches to be made across a wider range of agencies, and to foster the development of new partnerships between LAs and VAAs.

This study investigated how this subsidy of the inter-agency fee was working within the broader context of adoption family finding activities.

Item Type: Report (Research Report)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV0040 Social service. Social work. Charity
Divisions: Faculty of Education > Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Ruth Rogers
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2017 14:51
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2017 14:51

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00