Hampshire County Council has agreed to enter into a partnership with neighbouring authorities to create a regional adoption agency.
Joining forces with Isle of Wight Council, Portsmouth City Council and Southampton City Council to create ‘Adopt South’, the partnership will work to improve the processes for both children and adopters, leading to increased numbers of children being adopted.
Councillor Keith Mans, Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, commented “As a Local Authority that is recognised by Ofsted as outstanding for its adoption service, I am pleased that we are able to collaborate with our neighbours to share good practice and work together to create innovative opportunities for greater success in adoption.
“It is good to see that this agency model will allow each local authority to retain the flexibility it needs to be able to respond accordingly to future policy. At the heart of the agency will be a shared commitment to provide genuine opportunities for improving life outcomes for children and families and, in this, I am encouraged that Adopt South will continue to work closely with the voluntary sector.”
Adopt South will begin operating as a regional adoption agency on 1 April 2019 and will:
- Recruit, assess and approve adopters across the partnership’s region
- Match children in need of adoptive families
- Support families following an adoption’s completion
For children with a plan for adoption, but for whom an adopter is yet to be found and the process of adoption has not started, the responsibility for looking after those children remains with the local authority for the area in which the children reside.