Agenda item

The One Adoption South Yorkshire Annual Report Update

To receive an update on the One Adoption South Yorkshire Annual Report.



The Head of Service for One Adoption South Yorkshire provided an update to the panel on the One Adoption South Yorkshire Annual Report and outlined the following:


·       One Adoption South Yorkshire was established three years ago, and this report provided an update on the second year 2022-2023.

·       The agency was split into four services, work had been completed to ensure the four services provided a consistent and cohesive service.

·       It was a challenging year for the organisation, 57 adopters were recruited during this period with a target set of 90. Pre-pandemic levels were much higher and were within the target set, however it was noted that the cost-of-living crisis had an impact on the number of adopters recruited throughout this period.

·       The current position was that the number of adopters had risen this year so far, with far more enquiries received in comparison to 2022-2023. The level of children requiring placements had also increased.

·       It was highlighted that there was a shortage of adopters nationally, this was a challenge for the organisation.

·       The agency had improved the process of assessing, recruiting, approving, and matching potential adopters, this was now a faster process with children being placed immediately in most cases.


The Chair thanked the Head of Service from One Adoption South Yorkshire for the presentation and invited questions. This led to the following points being raised during discussions:


·       When the agency was established as a partnership agency across South Yorkshire, it was agreed that each local authority would provide a level of funding equivalent to the amount of money they were spending on adoption at that point in time. It was advised that these funding levels would remain until December 2025, when the current agreement would come to an end. Throughout the period of 2021-2022, an amount of £100,000 was retained to purpose the underspend, this money was used to purchase a recording system for the organisation. A proportion of the underspend, £150,000, was also retained by the agency to create a financial buffer. Any underspend at the end of December 2025 would be divided up and returned to the local authorities, this would be proportionate to the amount that each local authority provided at the start of the process. The money returned to each local authority would go back into their Children and Young People’s Service (CYPS) budget and it would be the service’s decision on how to spend the returned money.

·       In relation to the enquiry stage, there was a high level of adopters that decided not to progress their application further after making initial enquiries and before the registration stage. To mitigate this, the Senior Management Team (SMT) within the agency had suggested that the agency arrange for adopters to engage with potential adopters, at the earliest stage possible. This would provide an opportunity for potential adopters to find out more from adopters with lived experience at an early stage.

·       The data within the report showed that there was a higher level of adopters leaving the agency, this was because of the cost-of-living crisis.

·       The judiciary were very wary in relation to adoption and often provided time limits to local authorities. An example was provided of a judge that decided if a child was not adopted within six months, they should remain in long-term fostering. It was advised that there was often a misconception in the judiciary that children were unable to have contact with their birth family if they were adopted. This often influenced the decision of judges, to choose the option of long-term fostering rather than adoption. The agency was working with the judiciary to ensure there was a better understanding of contact with birth families.

·       It was advised there were rare occasions where children were returned after an Early Permanence Placement (EPP) had been agreed. To mitigate this, the agency was working with early placements to ensure there was A suitable level of resilience.

·       In relation to the A2 Indicator within the report, it was advised that the Service Manager for One Adoption South Yorkshire would meet with the Service Manager for Fostering Residential, to complete a lesson learned approach to ensure potential improvements were identified.

·       It was advised that each local authority area in South Yorkshire was very similar statistically, with all four local authorities recruiting a similar number of adopters and requiring a similar number of placements.

·       It would be possible to include the break down of ethnicities for the dataset provided within the report.






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