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¾ Local Authorities sign up for regional adoption agencies

Nearly three quarters of councils will become part of regional adoption agencies as part of the first 14 groups to be given the go-ahead by government to work together to place children waiting for adoption.The largest regional adoption agency will be the London Adoption Board, where all 33 local authorities will link up with 10 voluntary adoption agencies including Action for Children, Adoption Plus, Barnardo’s, and Coram.

The two smallest regional adoption agencies each consist of three local authorities. Medway, Milton Keynes and Brighton & Hove will link up with PACT. While Plymouth, Torbay and Devon will link up with Families for Children and Barnardo's.

The Department for Education said encouraging local authorities and voluntary adoption agencies to join forces will act as "a triple win", by giving agencies a greater pool of approved adopters to improve matching, making vital support services more widely available to adoptive families and better targeting the recruitment of adopters.

"The government will provide financial and practical support for councils and adoption agencies to enable them to bring services together regionally, and implement the greatest step change in the way children are matched for adoption in a generation," a DfE spokeswoman said.