Regional Adoption Agencies: an evaluation

Local authority adoption services are being replaced by larger regional adoption agencies (RAAs) covering several local authorities.

RAAs will recruit adopters, match looked after children with adopters, and provide support to adopters and their children. The rationale is that RAAs will provide services on a greater scale with more innovative approaches to practice, thereby leading to improved outcomes for children. The four parts of the system that RAAs will aim to improve are:

  1. The timeliness of matching children with adoptive families
  2. The recruitment of adopters
  3. Adoption support
  4. Inefficiencies in the system

The evaluation of RAAs is being carried out by the Rees Centre in partnership with Ecorys (lead agency). 

The overarching research questions for the evaluation are:

  1. How successful are RAAs in meeting the aims of: speeding up matching; improving adopter recruitment; improving adoption support services; and reducing inefficiencies of process and timeliness?
  2. How do the operating models of RAAs support the delivery of services and ensure adoptive families receive the services they need in a timely and constructive way?
  3. What are the strengths, opportunities and risks of the different RAA models?
  4. What are the costs for local authorities?