Derby is participating in a new regionalised adoption pilot, as the Council’s Cabinet approved last week. Councillor Sara Bolton, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People and Safeguarding has welcomed the pilot saying,

“This is a positive step for us in Derby; we always strive to provide the best possible outcomes for children, adopters and adoptive parents.  There are many benefits to regionalisation, as the strength of the combined regional provision will likely strengthen our own development but this is just a pilot at this stage.  We will be reporting back to Council Cabinet on progress and the impact on Derby children in care in January next year.“

The main benefits of the changes include improving performance and consistency across the East Midlands; having a bigger pool of prospective adopters and children, and ensuring a culture of excellence in adoption practice is realised through strong Local Authority and voluntary adoption agency partnerships.

Late last year, councils from across the East Midlands endorsed a D2N2 (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire) model that will pilot the creation of Children’s Permanence teams in each Local Authority. For Derby this will be three social workers who work across Locality teams and the Adoption team to make sure adoption plans for children remain on track. They will also share knowledge and experience of adoption which will improve the quality of reports and documents that children read later in life.

These teams will specialise in progressing children’s plans to adoption.

Simultaneous to this, a pan regional home finding and matching model is being developed to maximise the opportunities of matching children across the whole of the East Midlands. This will bring particular benefits for Derby as we often have to place Derby children outside of our small geographical area due to the risk of identification of children by birth families.

The costs of piloting a permanency team are met from within existing budgets. Lead Members across the East Midlands have very clearly stated that regionalising adoption cannot cost any more for individual councils than currently.

The 2016 Education and Adoption Act amends the Adoption and Children Act 2002, so that local authorities are no longer required to maintain an adoption service within their area but may secure provision by other local authorities or registered adoption societies.

You can find out more about the regionalised adoption pilot on the Adoption 4 East Midlands web site.