In 2006, the London Borough of Harrow commissioned Coram Family (a Voluntary Adoption Agency) to provide all their domestic adoption services. Although other authorities have considered taking this action, this is the first time adoption services have been provided in this way in the UK. As such it provides the opportunity to evaluate a new model of providing adoption services. The overall aim of this study is to consider how well Coram Family have been able to meet the needs of Harrow’s looked after children who need permanence through adoption.
Within this broad aim, a number of areas will be considered:
• Has the work of Coram Family improved decision making and reduced unnecessary delays?
• Has the profile of children with adoption recommendations changed?
• Have there been any changes in how adoption is perceived and used within the LB Harrow?
• Have Coram Family been able to find families for all children who need an adoptive family?
• Has the quality of support to adoptive families improved?
• What have been the benefits and difficulties associated with commissioning an outside agency?
• What have been the costs associated with transfer of services for both agencies?
• What lessons could be learnt for others contemplating this model of service provision?
The evaluation will use a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods.