Regionalising Adoption

You may have heard already, but we will be changing! In the coming months all the local authorities in Yorkshire and Humber are combining their adoption services and this includes us.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Central government have directed that all adoption services should be organised on a regional basis by 2020. We’re doing this now so we can begin improving our services for children, young people and those who want to adopt them as soon as possible. By working regionally we can reduce the length of time a child waits to be placed and improve our offer of adoption support services.

There are currently 15 local authority adoption services across Yorkshire and Humber; these will merge their adoption functions across 3 areas to form 3 regional agencies. These will be:

North and Humber – consisting of North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Hull, East Riding, City of York councils and North Yorkshire County Council
West Yorkshire – consisting of Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees and Wakefield councils
South Yorkshire – consisting of Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster and Sheffield City Councils

We have been working away in the background on this for some time with a view to having the new agencies operational in 2017, ideally in spring or summer. But as key decisions are made and time scales become more fixed we will provide updates here.

Although the adoption service will become a regional service we will be delivering the service at a local level. Adoption staff will continue to work in the local offices with the same children’s social work staff to ensure the best outcomes for the children they work with. While the names of the agencies you deal with may change, the people and the ethos behind those agencies will remain consistent and we will work to ensure your social worker and support network remains as consistent as possible as we transition to the new operating model.

Representatives from each local authority and the voluntary agency alliance are all working together along with adopters, through the Yorkshire and Humber adopter voice forum, across a range of work streams to ensure their voice is heard both locally and regionally throughout the process and is embedded in service development going forwards. We are also engaging with adopted children and young people, birth families and a range of other stakeholders from practitioners and healthcare professionals to educators and the judiciary.

Can I still apply to become an adopter or should I wait until the new agency is in place?
You can apply whenever you feel it’s right for you.