New adoption agency for Dorset approved

Plans to establish a regional adoption agency (RAA) covering the whole of Dorset have been approved by councillors at Dorset County Council’s Cabinet meeting (1 February).

pexels-photo-173666_family holding handsAspire Adoption is the result of the merging of adoption services in Bournemouth, Dorset, Poole and local voluntary adoption agency Families for Children in a bid to enhance the adoption service available across the region.

Members of the Cabinet 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.

Cllr Deborah Croney, Cabinet member for learning, skills and children’s safeguarding, Dorset County Council, said:

“By working together as Aspire Adoption we will be able to access a wider range of adopters, reduce delays and avoid unsuccessful adoptions. What makes Dorset’s RAA special is our partnership with voluntary agency, Families for Adoption, as well as being able to provide special guardianship, which can be a more practical way forward or some families. This will help us find more loving homes more quickly for children who need them across Dorset.”

Aspire Adoption has been formed following Government’s expectation 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.

It is anticipated the agency will launch in July 2017 with around 60 staff coming together to form the new organisation.

The business case was approved by Bournemouth Borough Council’s Cabinet on 25 January and by Families for Children trustees on 27 January, and will go to Borough of Poole’s Cabinet on 7 February.

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