Establishing Regional Adoption Arrangements in South London
Meeting: 17/12/2018 - Cabinet (Item 6)
Deputy Leader of the Council (Children and Young People), Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite
Annie Hudson: Strategic Director for Children’s Services
Contact for enquiries: El Mayhew, Assistant Director – Looked After Children
0207 926 2437 / Emayhew@lambeth.gov.uk
In introducing the report, the Deputy Leader (Children and Young People), Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, and the Strategic Director for Children’s Services, Annie Hudson, highlighted that:
· the Regional Adoption Agency was a timely initiative, drawing on best practice from the different agencies to provide better post-adoption support, wider family recruitment and a more positive overall adopter experience; and,
· governance was a crucial element and the agency would be governed by a Board and existing quality assurance arrangements would continue. Ofsted would also continue to monitor Lambeth on its adoption provision. As a local authority we would retain responsibility for the children to the point of adoption.
In response to questions from Councillor Becca Thackray and Cabinet Members, the Strategic Director for Children’s Services, Annie Hudson, stated that:
· the focus was on adoption however the idea of using this approach for fostering had been raised nationally. The Regional Adoption Agency was looking at absorbing responsibility for special guardianship orders;
· Corporate Parenting Board would receive updates on the progress; and,
· this was very much a partnership approach with Lambeth sharing the responsibility with the host authority.
1) Lambeth enter into permanent regional adoption arrangements as part of Adopt London South.
2) Agree that staff and finances (likely 6.3 Fixed-Term Employee posts and an annual budget of up to £500,000 (under negotiation)) are transferred to Southwark who will be hosting Adopt London South on behalf of ten South London boroughs.
3) Agree that Lambeth’s statutory Director of Children’s Services is vested with delegated authority to make more detailed decisions around the implementation of this proposal including signing off the inter-authority agreement between Lambeth and Southwark.