Regional Adoption Agency approved by Cabinet

Posted on Wednesday 25th January 2017

Aspire Adoption – a new adoption agency for Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset approved

Exciting and innovative plans to establish a regional adoption agency (RAA) covering the whole of Dorset have been approved by councillors at Bournemouth Council’s Cabinet meeting (25 January 2017).

Aspire Adoption is the result of the merging of adoption services in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. They will be working with the local specialist adoption agency, Families for Children in order to enhance adoption services available across the region.

Members 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.

Councillor Nicola Greene, Cabinet Member for Education and Children’s Services, Bournemouth Borough Council, said:

“By setting up Aspire Adoption we are able to combine the wealth of expertise and experience from all four partners, cover the whole of Dorset and further improve the adoption process. We want to achieve the very best outcomes for children and adults and by joining forces this will enable us to do just that.”

Nick King, one of the adopters helping advise the establishment of the Regional Agency said:

“Bringing our local adoption services together is great news. The combined agency is already considering innovative new ways to support Dorset’s adoptive families. More importantly, the plan will increase the pool of adopters for the very many children needing a forever family, reducing the amount of time they are in care.”

“Adopting our children has been absolutely the best thing we have ever done, I’d encourage anyone considering adoption to contact their local agency for a chat. Adopting transformed not only our children’s lives for the better, but ours too.”

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. It is one of the Government’s Demonstration Projects and will be one of the first RAAs across the country to go live.

The business case will also go for approval to Families for Children Trustees on 27 January, Dorset County Council Cabinet on 1 Feb and Borough of Poole on 7 Feb 2017.

In the meantime, it is business as usual with all four organisations keen to recruit more adoptive families for children of all ages. In particular, there is a need to find families for children aged three and over and siblings. Residents who would like more information about Bournemouth’s Adoption Service can visit: or call: 01202 456743 for an informal discussion.

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