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General overview

Stage of development: Implementation

Policy sector: Child and family welfare

Start date of service provision: 2013

Capital raised (minimum): GBP 2m (USD 3.13m)

Service users: 198 individuals


The essence of IAAM is to combine targeted family finding for harder to place children with specific support for parents adopting these children. The IAAM service is provide by six Voluntary Adoption Agencies (VAAs) operating across the country. Each Voluntary Adoption Agency (VAA) will be referred a child who has been seeking adoption on a spot-purchase basis by a local authority. The VAA will first task the South London and Maudsley Hospital with conducting a multidisciplinary assessment of the child and producing an authoritative report on the child's needs. For the child, the VAA will then provide a 24-hour helpline, buddying, and respite care whilst they attempt to find an adoptive family. Prospective parents are given training and support tailored to the needs of the child, as agreed by the commissioning local authority and the provider VAA.

Target population

‘Harder to place’ children who would be likely to be aged 4+, in a sibling group, with a disability or from a BME background– or a combination of these – and would have been on the Adoption register for at least six months.



  • United Kingdom

Service delivery locations

  • Great Britain

Outcome metrics

  • Registration. When the local authority agrees that the plan formulated between it and the Voluntary Adoption Agency is an appropriate one and delivers value. The VAA agrees to train parents to a given plan for that child.
  • Placement. When the local authority agrees that the parents have been trained and are ready to meet the child's needs.
  • One year in placement. The placement is on track and delivering value.
  • Two years in placement. The placement is continuing, has already delivered value, and on track to succeed.
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