Decision Maker: Leader of the Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Approval for Hammersmith and Fulham Council to go forward with the plan to join the Adopt London West Regional Adoption Agency (RAA) in response to the Department for Education’s (DfE) paper on Regional Adoption Agencies in 2016, requiring local authorities to form RAAs by 2020. Regionalising adoption services is also reinforced through amendments to the primary legislation introduced via the Education and Adoption Act 2016. Adopt London West is the coming together of the adoption services of the London boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Hounslow to form a Regional Adoption Agency.
Reasons for urgency:
Central government policy requires that all Adoption services be delivered through Regional Adoption Agencies (RAA) by 2020. Local authorities that have not done so by the set period will be directed to do so by the government
Hammersmith and Fulham and partner authorities proposed to form the Adopt London West RAA. Partner local authorities have received approval from their Council to join the RAA and are awaiting Hammersmith and Fulham’s decision
It is recommended that the Leader:
1. Approves Hammersmith and Fulham Council entering into a regional adoption arrangement, to be known as Adopt London West, with four participating authorities (Brent, Hounslow, Ealing, and Hammersmith and Fulham) identified in this report, and that special guardianship support is included in this arrangement from the outset.
2 Approves London Borough of Ealing hosting Adopt London West.
3 Delegate to the London Borough of Ealing, as host of Adopt West London, the following statutory functions of the Council:
(a) the recruitment of persons as prospective adopters;
(b) the assessment of prospective adopters' suitability to adopt a child;
(c) the approval of prospective adopters as suitable to adopt a child;
(d) decisions as to whether a particular child should be placed for adoption with a particular prospective adopter;
(e) the provision of adoption support services (with the exception of the services listed in paragraph 4.5.5 of the report),
(f) guardianship support services.
4 Delegates authority to the Director of Children’s Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children and Education, to take whatever steps are necessary to implement the decisions in this report including but not limited to approving any agreements between the Councils.
This report seeks to implement the government policy by proposing the establishment of a regional adoption body hosted by London Borough of Ealing.
Option 1: No change to current arrangements.
Option 2: Pan London RAA.
Option 3: Set up a shared service hosted arrangement – preferred option.
Urgent item?: Yes
Publication date: 09/07/2019
Date of decision: 08/07/2019
Effective from: 12/07/2019