New Regional Adoption Agency for Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole launches to provide outstanding services for vulnerable children and families across the region.

Posted on Wednesday 19th July 2017

Today, British athlete, TV celebrity and adoptee, Jamie Baulch, announced the launch of one of England’s first regional adoption agencies, Aspire Adoption. The new agency will provide adoption and special guardianship services on behalf of Bournemouth Borough Council, Dorset County Council and the Borough of Poole. Aspire is working in partnership with Families for Children, a local independent adoption agency.

Jamie says, ““I am privileged to be asked to support the launch of Aspire Adoption. I know only too well the importance of finding adoptive families for the many vulnerable children waiting in care and what it means to those children to find the love and support of a family of their own.

When you get older you suddenly realise how important life is, how precious it is, and I whole heartedly support the work of Aspire and the benefits of the services it is providing across this region and the whole of the UK.”

The services Aspire will provide include supporting those who have decided to adopt, ensuring timely adoption and special guardianship assessments, matching children for adoption more quickly, and supporting those who have adopted or care for children under Special Guardianship Orders. They will also be providing support and advice to others touched by adoption or special guardianship including adopted adults and birth relatives.

Heather Freeman, Aspire Adoption Manager, says, “This is an exciting time for adoption and special guardianship in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. We have teams of highly skilled social workers, support workers, clinical psychologists and education specialists across all three local authorities coming together to provide the very best services for the region.

Funding to set up Aspire Adoption has been made available from the Department for Education (DfE) as part of a National Regional Adoption Agency Programme. Aspire was identified as a demonstration project by central government in the development of the service and how the partners have worked together.

Cllr Nicola Greene, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services at Bournemouth Borough Councils, says, “All three councils have been working together for many years and our strength in partnership only enhances the quality of the services we will be able to offer as a regional adoption agency.”

Cllr Steve Butler, Cabinet member for safeguarding, Dorset County Council, says, “Aspire’s focus remains on finding permanent families for the many vulnerable children across the region but also in supporting those families and their children into early adulthood and beyond if needed.”

Cllr Mike White, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children, Young People and Capital Projects, Borough of Poole, says, “Aspire’s key objective is to provide outstanding services to children and adults involved in adoption or special guardianship. As a regional service, bringing together highly experienced and skilled staff from across the region, it can respond more efficiently and effectively.”

Aspire Adoption’s head offices are at the Kinson Hub in Bournemouth but services will be delivered across the region from council sites across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. More than 40 staff from all three authorities have transferred to Aspire.  They will be offering the following services:

  • Recruiting and assessing those considering adoption to meet the needs of children requiring adoption both locally and nationally
  • Matching and placing children with permanent families
  • Assessing those considering special guardianship
  • A multi-disciplinary team to provide adoption and special guardianship support services
  • Birth family support for those whose children have been adopted or who have been made subject to Special Guardianship Orders.

Other services provided by Aspire Adoption will include advice and assessments for overseas adoptions and step-parent adoptions. Aspire is also pleased to offer a range of social events, support groups and training.

Heather Freeman adds, “We are particularly keen now, to hear from anyone who has considered adoption. Our region alone has 35 vulnerable children waiting to be adopted, many of who are in sibling groups or aged three or over.

“Our promise is to be with you step by step, from initial contact through to your child taking their first steps into adulthood.”

To find out more, visit, or call 0300 123 9868to speak to Aspire’s team of experts about the process, the children and how to begin your adoption journey. 

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