A standard interagency fee charged when adopters approved by one Adoption Agency are matched with a child in the care of another in Scotland was established in 2016. The interagency fee covers the costs of recruiting and assessing prospective adopters, matching, placement and supervision and support up to the point of the adoption order.
Interagency fees: additional guidance
Use of a standard interagency fee means that agencies can be confident that they can cover the costs of recruiting prospective adopters and continue to invest in this process even if the adopters are subsequently matched with children from outwith their local area. As well as ensuring the best interests of the child are at the forefront of any matching decision, this helps to maximise opportunities for children from across Scotland who require adoptive placements.
Level of fees
Fee levels will be uprated on 1 April each year based on the Consumer price inflation including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) measure of inflation for the preceding calendar year as published by the Office for National Statistics. Information on the new fees will be circulated by the Scottish Government and will be made available on the Scotland’s Adoption Register website.
The fee is paid as a single payment at the point of placement.
Components of the fee
Although charged as a single payment, the fee is made up of three equal components. The first third covers recruitment and assessment, the second third covers linking, matching and introductions and the final third is to provide support from placement until the granting of the adoption order – on the assumption that this will happen within 12 months of placement.
Placements that disrupt within the first 12 months
If the placement disrupts within the first 12 months, the agency for the adopter will repay a proportion of the final third of the interagency fee. The amount of the repayment will be determined by the date the child leaves the placement and will be calculated on a pro rata basis. If, for example, the placement disrupts after 4 months, the repayment will be 8/12ths of the final third of the fee.
Placements where the Adoption Order is not granted with 12 months
If the Adoption Order is not granted within 12 months, the adopters’ agency will continue to support the placement on a fostering basis and will invoice the placing agency monthly at a rate of one 12th of the final third of the fee until the Adoption Order is granted (referred to as ongoing support in the following table).
In acknowledgment of year-on-year increases in staff costs, the fee levels will be uprated on 1 April each year based on the Consumer price inflation including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) measure of inflation for the preceding calendar year as published by the Office for National Statistics. On 19 January 2022, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) level for January-December 2021, which was 4.8%.
For the latest update on these costs, see Interagency Fees Scotland – Scotland’s Adoption Register.