How and when local authorities can claim a refund for the inter-agency fee.
Local authorities can decide to place a child with an adoptive family that was assessed and approved by a different adoption agency (this can be another local authority or a voluntary adoption agency (VAA)). In these cases, the agency will charge a fee to cover the costs of recruiting, assessing and approving the adopters. This is called the inter-agency fee.
VAAs are organisations that recruit, approve and support people interested in adopting a child. Unlike local authorities, they do not have children in their care.
The inter-agency adoption fee grant is a government grant that reimburses the money local authorities spend on inter-agency fees for ‘hard-to-place’ children.
We originally set up a £30-million fund for placements made between 8 July 2015 and 31 October 2016.
We’ve now extended the fund: local authorities can get the grant for placements made between 1 November 2016 and 31 March 2017 if they meet certain criteria.
Eligibility for the grant
Placements made between 8 July 2015 and 31 October 2016
The deadline for submitting a claim for a child you placed during this period is Wednesday, 30 November 2016.
You can claim the grant for placements that met at least one of the following criteria:
- children who had waited 18 months or longer to be placed with a family
- children who were aged 5 years or older at the time they were placed with a family
- children who were in a sibling group of 2 or more children, and were placed with a family as siblings
- black or minority ethnic children (use the definition for ‘black or minority ethnic children’ that you use when you submit data to the Adoption Leadership Board every quarter)
- disabled children (use the definition of ‘disabled children’ that you use when you submit data to the Adoption Leadership Board every quarter)
Placements made between 1 November 2016 and 31 March 2017
You should submit your claim in the first 10 working days of the month following the month of the placement. For example, the deadline for submitting a claim for a placement made in November 2016 would be 14 December 2016.
You can claim the grant for placements that meet at least one of the following criteria:
- children who, at 1 November 2016, have waited 18 months or longer to be placed with a family (this means 18 months or longer from the point of entering care)
- children who are in a sibling group placed in a family, where at least one child has waited 18 months or longer for their placement at 1 November 2016
Placements where the child reaches the 18-month threshold after 1 November 2016 are not eligible for the grant.
Submitting a claim
To submit a claim, you need to complete and sign the evidence sheet and email it to us.
Make sure you state the date on which you placed the child with their new family. We’ll check that your claim is valid before we send you the payment.
Please contact us if you have any questions about eligibility for the grant.
Inter-agency fee grant claims
You’ll get the following amount of funding when you submit a valid claim:
- £27,000 for placing 1 child
- £43,000 for placing 2 siblings in 1 adoptive family
- £60,000 for placing 3 siblings in 1 adoptive family
- £68,000 for placing 4 siblings in 1 adoptive family
- £80,000 for placing 5 or more siblings in 1 adoptive family
These amounts match the national inter-agency fee.
If you make an inter-agency placement through a scheme or agency that charges more than the national rate, you’ll have to cover the extra costs.
How to spend the grant
The grant provides agencies with an opportunity to search nationally for available adopters for hard-to-place children who’ve been waiting the longest.
It also offers an opportunity to use the funding for adoption support. Agencies may want to use the grant in conjunction with the Adoption Support Fund to make placements and offer support packages at the point of placement.