Project: Success factors in adopter recruitment: Insights from adoption agency social work managers and marketing offices

Date: 2013

Research Team: Dr Beth Neil; Dr John Clifton

Funder: British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering - this project is part of the Department for Education's "Adoption Reform" programme of work.

This research was commissioned by BAAF who are working with the Department for Education to support work addressing the shortage of adoptive parents.  One of the grant objectives was to share effective practices that reduce the time children wait before placement, including the effective recruitment of more adopters. The goal of this qualitative research project was to highlight examples of good practice which will be presented in a report and disseminated to all agencies in England and BAAF membership across the UK as well as online.

The adoption process involves many different interactions with potential adopters on their journey from first enquiry to approval at panel and subsequent matching.  The research was to identify key success factors in the process, drawing together any common themes or triggers, as well as highlighting any significant barriers to success and how these have been overcome. It looked at differing recruitment methods and tactics, the strength and value of recruitment strategies, success in attracting potential adopters with suitable profiles and specifically the strategies used for hard to place children. It also explored the added value of collaborative working, the range of recruitment channels used and potential barriers to use (such as the Adoption Register, Be My Parent/Children Who Wait, Adoption Activity Days, DVD profiling), and potential efficiencies to be gained through shared resources and nationally delivered awareness initiatives (such as National Adoption Week).

The methodology of the study carried out qualitative interviews with key personnel dealing with adoption recruitment in 25 adoption agencies from across the UK.

Download the full report here or click here for the summary report.