A new regional adoption agency was approved by councillors at Bournemouth Council’s Cabinets meeting yesterday.
The regional adoption agency will establish a service covering the whole of Dorset called Aspire Adoption. They will be working with local specialist adoption agency, Families for Children.
Members were also asked to approve the business case which sets out how Bournemouth Borough Council will host the agency on behalf of the other partners.
This comes after the Government announced expectations that Regional Adoption Agencies are set up across England to enable better targeting for the recruitment of prospective adopters, speed up the matching and placement of children, improve adoption support services and potentially create efficiency savings.
Nicola Greene, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, said: “The government have been pushing this agenda of making larger adoption agencies. Bournemouth, Poole, Dorset and families for dorset said early on we want to adopt this, we want to push on and we want to be at the leading edge of this change in national policy because we think we can deliver something special here”
The new project will be one of the first regional adoption agencies to go live across the country. It is anticipated that it will launch in July 2017 with around 60 staff coming together to form the new organisation.
Ms Greene also added that the government have acted as a “critical friend” and she believes investment the government have put into the scheme shows that they have confidence it will be a success.
She says: “Not only do we believe that there are improvements that can be made but the government believe that too and trust me government doesn’t put funding into schemes that they don’t believe in”
This new initiative could see Aspire being called on to act as advocates and offer advice to other areas which are considering similar ways forward.
The business case will also go for approval to Families for Children Trustees on 27 January, Dorset County Council Cabinet on 1 Feb and Borough of Poole on 7 Feb 2017.
In the meantime, all four organisations are keen to recruit more adoptive families for children of all ages. Residents can find more information about Bournemouth’s Adoption Service here.