The interagency fee is a nationally agreed mechanism for covering the costs incurred in the preparation, approval and matching of prospective adopters, and the support provided during the first 12 months of a placement.
The level of the interagency fee is decided by the relevant organisations for local authorities (LAs) in each country of the UK in discussion with the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) UK. Any updates to the rates being charged will be made available on the CoramBAAF and CVAA websites.
From 1 April 2019 all members of CVAA will be charging £31,620 for the placement of a child from English local authorities and regional adoption agencies (RAAs); and by all English voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) for cross-border placements within the UK for the placement of a single child, with additional rates for the placement of sibling groups. Payment of the fee is charged in full at the point of placement.
In England, for placements between LAs and RAAs, the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) has confirmed that the interagency rate of £27,000 which was agreed in 2011 continues to apply.
The Scottish Government has agreed that from 1 April 2019 the same fee of £31,620 will be charged for all placements with VAAs and between Scottish local authorities. The payments will currently be made in two payments, the first at the point of placement and the second following the adoption order being made, but by April 2020 it is expected the fee will be made as one payment at point of placement.
In Wales the agreement with the National Adoption Agency for Wales is that the interagency fee of £31,620 set by CVAA for placements with VAAs will be paid from October 2018 and that local authority placements will be charged at £27,000.
The interagency fee payable from 1 April 2019 continues to be £27,000 for placements between local authorities or regional adoption agencies in England and Wales. See the table of charges.
The fee level of agencies in London will have a weighting of 10%, giving a figure of £29,700.
In Scotland there has been agreement to an equalisation of the fee across all placements from 1 April 2019 so the interagency fee will be £31,620. Details of the fees payable are available here .
For placements with voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) the interagency fee for a placement with a VAA is £31,620 from 1 April 2019. Details of interagency fees can be found on the CVAA website.
In England the interagency fee is decided by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) in discussion with the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies (CVAA) UK.
In Scotland fees are agreed through service level agreements between local authorities, consortia members and VAAs.
In Wales fees are agreed between ADSS Cymru and the National Adoption Service for Wales and CVAA.
In Northern Ireland, agreements are reached between the five Health and Social Care Trusts. VAAs charge the CVAA recommended fee.
Any changes agreed will be reflected in information available on the CoramBAAF website and the CVAA website.
The fee covers the following aspects of interagency work:
1) Recruiting, preparing, assessing and approving families.
2) Meetings with the child’s agency, preparing and supporting the family during the matching process, placement planning and introductions and making the placement.
3) Supporting the family for the first 12 months following placement.
Further payment is required if an adoption order is not made within 12 months of placement.
Financial support and support in relation to contact arrangements would primarily be the responsibility of the placing authority.
Additional support services linked to the needs identified in the Adoption Support Plan can be purchased from the approving agency and should be detailed in the agreement.
Full payment of the fee when making a placement with a VAA is made at the point of placement.
For payments between local authorities and regional adoption agencies Part 1 and Part 2 of the fee is charged on placement. Part 3 is charged when the Adoption Order is made or 12 months after the placement started, whichever is first. Ongoing supervision is charged where an Adoption Order has not been granted after 12 months and ongoing placement supervision is being provided by the approving agency (calculated to be charged on a monthly basis). Part 3 of the fee for both new and existing placements can be charged either as a lump sum at the end of a year or on a monthly basis.