Adopt South West colleagues celebrate their first anniversary

Our Adopt South West colleagues celebrate their first anniversary as a Regional Adoption Agency on 1st October 2019.

The formation of Adopt South West brought together adoption services from Devon, Somerset, Plymouth, and Torbay. The service is hosted by Devon County Council and so they are all our colleagues in Devon Children’s Services but work across the geographic footprint of four local authorities.

There are now 20 live Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs) across the country (PDF). This represents 93 out of the 151 local authorities. More RAAs will go live throughout 2019 into 2020. There is a longitudinal evaluation of RAAs, that is ongoing, with some positive findings, but it’s too early to draw any firm conclusions.

The RAAs across the country are showing emerging evidence of working together to drive improvements in the delivery of adoption services.

Above: Alison Barker and Kath Drescher from Adopt South West.

Kath Drescher, Service Manager Adopt South West says:

“We’re working closely in partnership with our colleagues in our local voluntary adoption agencies, Families for Children and Barnardo’s, and the Department for Education, to drive systemic change.

“We now have a wider pool of adopters for matching our children across the region, which means we can offer more targeted recruitment, and place more of our children locally in South West families. We’re continuing to place children in adoptive homes in a timely way. And we’re developing strong access level adoption support.

“We’ve been able to share and develop best practice across the region and have been able to learn from networking with our colleagues across our other local regionalised adoption agencies.”

Kath, her management team and Adopt South West colleagues are extremely thankful to all parents, children and young people, adult adoptees, and birth parents, as well as their fantastic staff in helping form and shape Adopt South West. Kath concludes:

“We know there is still lots to improve and get right, but we think we are on the right path to achieve this. As a staffing group we are getting together on our anniversary to celebrate our successes and hopefully have some cake too!”