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

Wednesday 1 June 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 or a not-for-profit organisation. An RAA is a collaborative approach where the local authorities in a region are combined into one agency to cover that area. We are a RAA and are responsible for finding families for looked after children in the care of Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington and Hartlepool local authorities.

The main difference is the VAA’s do not have ‘looked after children’ in their care. VAA’s are approached by RAA’s when a match has not been identified from their own pool of adopters. In simple terms, the RAA’s adopters are considered for the children in the local authority care first.

The RAA’s work collaboratively with the local authority children’s teams. We can see the children coming through at an early stage.

Because of collaborative working between RAA’s and the children’s teams in their local authorities, this can make the matching process more efficient.

This means:

• We are able to provide more early permanence for younger children and babies.
• As our adopters your will always be first consideration for children in our local authority’s care.
• We have a good understanding of the children’s needs from an early stage.
• We have a dedicated family finding team to ensure the best match and we can start shaping a support plan very early.

We would encourage you to look at a range of agencies. Every agency is different, and you should go with the agency that ‘feels right’ for you.

Why not give one of our information sessions a try to find out more about how we can support you to adopt.