A regional adoption agency, tying the Isle of Wight with Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton, has been recommended for approval by the Isle of Wight Council cabinet.
It is hoped the move will result in more families being found for children on the Isle of Wight and within Hampshire .
£456,000 over next two years
The estimated cost to the council is at least £456,000 over the next two years however, the cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Paul Brading, said this would not be any more expensive than the amount currently paid by the local authority towards adoption services.
The council will contribute £228,000 this year, while Hampshire County Council contribute £1,381,000, Portsmouth £764,000 and Southampton £1,387,000.
Southampton County Council will pay more because of a higher dependency on inter-agency staff.
Once approved, the four authorities would form a governance board to elect a leader of the agency. All authorities will be given an equal vote.
Brading: “Will widen the scope”
Cllr Brading said there would not be a significant rise in children being adopted off Island.
“It will widen the scope. More parents will now be matched with a child and parents will be able to find a suitable match quicker.”
Adoption ‘requires improvement’
Adoption in the Isle of Wight Council is currently rated ‘requires improvement’, and it is hoped a combined model would help improve this.
There are 100 staff employed in adoption across the various authorities — most of these staff will remain in their home authority, with about five to ten seconded.
The target date for implementing the plans is April next year.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Ed