Date published: 01 March 2010
After providing an outstanding adoption service since 1965 Manchester Adoption Society is to close its doors. After a difficult couple of years financially, it is with great regret that the trustees of the charity have decided to enter into a voluntary administration. The Society will probably close at the end of February.
The primary concern for staff and trustees is that we are able to ensure that all our families that we are currently working with, and have previously worked with, continue to receive the excellent services that they have received from us, but obviously that will mean transferring services to other organisations. We are working closely with a number of other agencies to ensure that there is a continuation of service to those families with whom we are currently working.
At Manchester Adoption Society we have been at the forefront of adoption practice since 1965 and we were the first organisation to bring Concurrent Planning to the UK establishing the Goodman Team in 1998. Concurrent planning has been recognised by the Government as an example of ‘good practice’ in child care and in the last OFSTED inspection the Goodman Team was rated as “outstanding” for the service that it offered to the children and families. Our closure is all the more regretful due to our Society being the only organisation offering a Concurrent Planning service outside of the South of England. Like many other Voluntary Adoption Agencies Manchester Adoption Society has struggled to survive in the current financial climate. We have explored a number of options to stabilise the charity’s finances, but have come to the conclusion that it is the most responisble course of action to affect a planned closure rather than risk the possibility of bankruptcy later. A rushed bankruptcy would not give us the time to ensure that everybody is able to transfer to other agencies which will continue in finding placements for some of the most vulnerable children in our society.
Despite the government’s acknowledgement of the value of voluntary adoptions agencies, our experience has been made worse by the structure of adoption inter agency fees.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families have commissioned research which
demonstrates clearly that it is impossible for a Voluntary Adoption Agency to fully cost recover, so the placement of children relies heavily on charity donations. The way that our fees are set (we have to charge substantially more than Local Authorities) also means that it is very difficult for Local Authorities to use Voluntary Agencies due to an unrealistic discrepancy between what local authorities charge each other and what we have to charge, despite very little difference in actual costs in providing adoptions between the two sectors. For a full summary of this research please go to:
Our fear is that more Voluntary Adoption Agencies will find themselves in the same position, having to close due to financial restraints, and even more of the 4000 children currently needing adoptive parents in this country will spend much longer in the care system than necessary, and may never find the permanence they so desperately need.
We are very aware of the impact that this news will have upon our families and with this in mind we have set up a helpline number available out of office hours from 5pm to 7pm every weekday evening, to ensure that everybody has ample opportunity to talk to somebody at the Society. The helpline number is 07758207681.
However, since our announcement that we have to close a group of adoptive parents have started a ‘Save Manchester Adoption Society’ direct action group to help us to survive and raise awareness about how we and other voluntary agencies are funded.
JOIN OUR CAMPAIGN:
Register your support and SIGN the on-line PETITION:
www.facebook.com/l/b1b27;petitions.number10.gov.uk/SaveMAS/ Join us and share your experiences and show your support Facebook - Save Manchester Adoption Society
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
If you require additional information please do not hesitate to contact M.A.S.