Evaluation of the cost of adoption, with an emphasis on inter-agency fees
- Funder: The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF)
- Lead applicant: Dr Julie Selwyn
- Co-researcher: Dinithi Wijedasa
- Research centre: The Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies hosted by Family Policy and Child Welfare
An extension of the "Investigation of Linking and Matching in Adoption" study by Farmer, E. Dance, C. Ouwejan, D. and Beecham, J.
The Government, as part of its work to resolve issues concerning the inter-agency fees commissioned Deloitte to review local authority (LA) commissioning of voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) (see http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/). This report raised concerns about the inter-relationship between LAs and VAAs. As a consequence, the Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF) has commissioned further research into the costs for LAs and VAAs of arranging and supporting adoptive placements.
For this purpose, DCSF has agreed to extend the “Investigation of Linking and Matching in Adoption” study to investigate the costs of adoption, in particular the costs associated with inter-agency fees. This part of the study will be led by Julie Selwyn and Dinithi Wijedasa from the Hadley Centre for Adoption and Foster Care Studies.
To establish the costs involved, 10 local authorities (LAs) and 10 Voluntary Adoption Agencies (VAAs) will be recruited.
The aims of the study are to
- Estimate the costs for adoption agencies in the statutory and voluntary sectors of recruiting and preparing adopters and placing children in adoptive families.
- Estimate the costs of providing adoption support post placement and post order for children placed after 2002.
- Make recommendations for the best method of payment of the interagency fee.
The research extension will build on the costing elements within the ongoing “Investigation of Linking and Matching in Adoption study”. It will complement other costing work commissioned by DCSF and will build on earlier work on the costs of adoption by Julie Selwyn. (Costs and outcomes of non-infant adoptions, April 2006: Julie Selwyn et al, University of Bristol www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/research/projects/completed/2002/rk5822/)
The additional work will result in an overview report which will include an analysis of this new and existing research evidence on adoption costs and outcomes. The report will also include recommendations about how the findings should be used by local authorities to inform their decision making when commissioning adoption services.