Regional Adoption Agencies Evaluation
The aim of the evaluation is to assess the impact of RAAs on improving the delivery of adoption services, with the potential to improve outcomes for children.
Research and Development
Location of contract
Value of contract
15 September 2017
29 September 2017
Contract start date
31 January 2018
Contract end date
31 March 2022
RAAs will replace local authority adoption services with a larger regional agency covering several local authorities. RAAs will recruit adopters, match looked after children with adopters, and provide support to adopters and their children. The rationale is that RAAs, where services are delivered on a greater scale with more innovative approaches to practice, will have real potential to improve outcomes for children. The four challenges that RAAs will aim to improve are: (i) The timeliness of matching; (ii) The recruitment of adopters; (iii) Adoption support; and (iv) Inefficiencies in the system.
The aim of the evaluation is to assess the impact of RAAs on improving the delivery of adoption services, with the potential to improve outcomes for children. Research shows us that delay and instability in care are detrimental to a child’s future outcomes. It also increases the likelihood of disruption in the future. Findings will be used to ensure that future investment is targeted correctly and policies are developed in the most effective way.
The overarching research questions for the evaluation are:
i. How successful are RAAs in meeting the aims of: speeding up matching; improving adopter recruitment; improving adoption support services; and reducing inefficiencies of process and timeliness?
ii. How do the operating models of RAAs support the delivery of services and ensure adoptive families receive the services they need in a timely and constructive way?
iii. What are the strengths, opportunities and risks of the different RAA models?
iv. What are the costs for local authorities?
We anticipate that this research is likely to be based on a multi-method approach, and will include the following three strands to answer the research questions:
1. Longitudinal analysis of statistics collected for SFRs and Adoption Leadership Board (ALB) data to assess the short, medium and long-term performance of RAAs against the intended objectives of: reducing the time a child waits to be matched, improving adopter recruitment and the cost savings to local authorities.
2. Longitudinal qualitative research in RAAs with a range of key stakeholders to understand the relationship between RAAs and LAs, how well the process has been prepared for and implemented, identify enablers and barriers and identify early impact of the RAA.
3. Collection of cost data and management information to document the structure of the staff teams involved in RAAs, the total expenditure on these resources, and information on the spend on external adoption support services.
Expressions of interest will be assessed using the following criteria:
• Understanding the Department’s requirements;
• Knowledge and experience of research in this area, for example, adoption support services, organisational mergers, and market development;
• Experience of the methodologies to be used, including undertaking research with families. Evidence and experience of economic skills and collecting costs data;
About the buyer
2 St Pauls Place
Evaluation of Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs)
How to apply
Please apply directly to the buyer using the contact details provided.