Yorkshire Adoption Agency

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Yorkshire Adoption Agency's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Yorkshire Adoption Agency is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
Registered Manager and
Director Annie Redmond
Training and Adoption Support Manager
Leonie Hegedus attended a live chat on the
radio during National Adoption Week
Established in 1946, Yorkshire Adoption Agency is a
charitable voluntary adoption agency based in Doncaster.
Registered Manager Annie Redmond tells
The Parliamentary
that the agency is child-focused, vibrant and energetic,
and that its work includes recruiting, training and approving
adoptive parents. Working across Yorkshire, Annie says the
agency’s staff are passionate and discusses how they support
parents throughout the process.
I am honoured to lead an agency which has supported so many children and
families over the years. Our passion to provide loving, secure and sustainable
adoptive families who are supported in their community is just as strong today as it
was 73 years ago.
Our staff are passionate and work tirelessly to support our children and families,
and we have a settled and highly skilled leadership team committed to the
development of the agency.
REAL parenting
We have worked hard to develop our training and support offer, which includes an
extended programme of post-placement training for adoptive parents and a range
of individual therapeutic packages. Integral to this is a new training package for
adopters: REAL, or resilient, empathetic, accepting, loving parenting.
REAL adoptive parenting is our unique approach. The model focuses on the
importance of adopters developing resilience, as we believe emotional resilience
»Registered Manager and
Director: Annie Redmond
»Established in 1946
»Based in Doncaster
»Services: Voluntary adoption
»No. of employees: 16
Yorkshire Adoption
is key to the long-term success of
adoptive placements.
All this makes a real difference in
helping children grow and thrive and
supports parents in meeting their
children’s needs day by day and into
the future.
A planned programme of staff
development underpins the support
we offer to families. As well as
keeping up to date with new research
and broadening our skill base, we
are training staff as therapeutic
practitioners, allowing us to deliver
therapeutic support packages to
our families and externally on a
commissioned basis.
Supporting families
throughout their journey
We recognise that for many families,
the placement of a child is just the start
of another stage of a family’s journey.
Therefore, following the making of an
adoption order, we maintain contact
until the child is 18. Our prospective,
approved and matched adopters
continue to comment that they
appreciate the concept of “one family,
one worker”, and we aim to ensure
that the social worker allocated at the
first stage of the assessment process
is the person who will provide, as far
as practicable, the “lifelong” support
promise to our families.
This means using our skills and
resources creatively, and I am proud to
lead a staff group who are dedicated,
skilled and always committed to giving
their best for children and families.
We believe that the co-production of
adoption support services with our
families is the best way to ensure
our services meet their needs. Our
adopters’ focus group is proving to
be increasingly popular, and members
have provided useful feedback
about how they would like services
Our adopters have opted to develop
an informal peer support network with
a focus on building friendships and
providing a “listening ear”: support
and reassurance from the perspective
of a successful adopter. This service
is also open to the friends and family
of adopters to support the creation of
an “adoption-friendly” environment.
Our adopters tell us that this offer
reinforces our vision of being members
of a small community and extended
family, both of which provide a
network of support.
The impact of developments
in adoption
The government agenda to regionalise
adoption services continues, and
we have worked hard to maintain
our established partnerships with
neighbouring local authorities and
to continue to provide families for
children regionally and nationally.
Most recently, we, in partnership with
other regional voluntary agencies,
have agreed a joint tender for a
placement provision to One Adoption
Our front door –
highlighting that our
door is always open,
should anyone need us
Our prospective
approved and
continue to
comment that
they appreciate
the concept of
‘one family, one
worker’ who
remains with
throughout and
beyond their
Highlighting best practice
Highlighting best practice
We welcome the fact that government
funding for the adoption support fund
has been extended until March 2020,
but after this point, there is significant
uncertainty. Funding beyond March
2020 was to be subject to the
spending review, which was initially
scheduled to take place this year. This
scheduling, however, was calculated
on the assumption that we would
have agreed a Brexit deal. As this is
not currently the case, the situation for
proposed timescales is unclear.
This uncertainty surrounding future
arrangements has raised concern for
adopters. Going forward, we would
appreciate a commitment to extending
access to the fund or its iteration
to agencies operating within the
voluntary sector, thus reducing the
timescale for support to start.
The loss of Department for Education
funding to the regional voluntary
adoption agency hub has also created
further uncertainty in the sector, and
local and regional alliance members
are currently in discussion about future
Adapting to policy changes
In the past year, we have continued to
observe the impact of policy changes
in the adoption sector, at both a local
and a national level. We have seen a
rise in children waiting for adoptive
families and a shortfall in people
coming forward to adopt.
In response, we have increased our
marketing of services to inform the
public of our excellent adoption service
and support offer and invited people
to explore parenting through adoption.
Our team has increased in size with the
appointment of two previous “Social
Worker of the Year” award winners,
so, as the number of children needing
adoptive placements continues to
rise, we can recruit families confident
in the knowledge that we provide an
outstanding service.
Our plans: 2019 to 2022
Our business plan for 2019 to 2022
marks another key moment in our
history as a charity, and we face great
challenges over the next three years if
we are to meet the needs of our most
vulnerable children: those who wait
the longest for matching.
Our key priorities will be continuing
to develop our high-quality services,
supplemented with specific
programmes of activity to recruit and
support prospective adoptive families.
We will also continue to collaborate
with our colleagues to help meet the
needs of children who need adoptive
families in our local communities.
Beyond this, we are also aiming to
develop our post-adoption support
offer to ensure we are working as
efficiently and effectively as we can
in identifying and responding at the
earliest point of intervention. Finally,
we aim to continue to engender
a “whole family” approach to
post-adoption support, based on
improving and sustaining adopter
resilience, something enhanced by
the skills of their family and the social
and community support networks
I am proud to
lead a staff
group who
are dedicated,
skilled and
committed to
giving their
best for
children and
The team at our
Christmas party 2019,
including one of our
trustees as Santa Claus


This article was sponsored by Yorkshire Adoption Agency. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development