What is the difference between a Regional Adoption Agency and Voluntary Adoption Agency?

Wednesday 24 August 2022

If you have been researching adoption, you may be have seen there are different adoption agencies to choose from. But knowing the differences between them could help you decide which adoption agency to use.

A Regional Adoption Agency (RAA) and Voluntary Adoption Agency (VAA) are two different types of adoption agencies. We both have the same goal which is to find loving and stable homes for children.

So, what’s the difference?

A VAA is usually a charity, a not-for-profit organisation. A RAA is a collaborative approach with the local authorities in that region. We are a RAA for Stockton on Tees, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington and Redcar and Cleveland and we will assess anyone living within a 50 mile radius of this area.

The main difference is the VAA’s do not have responsibility for ‘looked after children’ in their care. If a match for a child cannot be found within an RAA’s own pool of adopters, they would approach VAA’s for help in matching children to the VAA’s adopters.

The RAA’s work directly with the council’s children’s teams and work very closely to see children coming through at an early stage, this gives RAA’s the benefit of being able to plan earlier for children and to identify adopters for children quickly, which reduces delay for children.

This means:
• We are able to work efficiently to quickly identify matches for children and adopters.
• We are able to offer early permanence (placing children earlier and younger to reduce moves in the care system) through early planning.
• We have a good understanding of the children’s needs from an early stage and can identify what support a child and their adopters may need.

We encourage anyone thinking about adopting to do their research, go along to multiple information events and get a feel for an agency.

Click here, to view our upcoming information events.