Adopt North East, the new regional adoption agency, has officially been given the go-ahead by the five local authorities supporting the service.
Councils in Northumberland, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside and South Tyneside have been working on the proposals which will combine adoption services from each of the local authorities, creating a large regional body.
Adopt North East will create a service, with the needs of adopted children and families at their heart and the opportunity to provide high quality post-adoption support.
Development of the new service has been ongoing for over two years, including detailed consultation with adoptive children, families and birth parents helping to shape the new service.
The results of these discussions helped identify the most valuable areas of adoption support and how the adoption journey can be streamlined, both of which are key to providing high-quality services.
During the engagement a variety of delivery options were discussed, including creating a new standalone agency, providing the new service through voluntary agencies or a hosted model with one of the five local authorities being selected as a host.
The hosted model was selected, and North Tyneside has been allocated as the host authority, with the new service being based at Balliol Primary School, Longbenton.
The new service is expected to launch in December, initially working in parallel to existing Local Authority service during a period of transition. The staffing and structure is still being designed and shaped to provide the highest quality service and to streamline the adoption journey.
Around 50 staff from the five local authorities will join Adopt North East. There will be no staff redundancies.