Making an Inter-agency Placement

Making placements between agencies in different areas has long been a feature of adoption practice in Scotland. While all adoption agencies are subject to the same legal framework, there are different practices and procedures in place. The Register can provide advice about the questions and areas for consideration which we recommend are discussed and agreed prior to proceeding to ensure things go smoothly when making an inter-agency placement.


Interagency fees

When a child from one adoption agency are placed with a prospective adoptive family from another agency a fee can be charged by the agency who assessed, approved and will support the adoptive family.

The Scottish government published information in 2016 about the arrangements for the setting of inter-agency fees. Following a period of consultation the government decided to endorse the use of a standard fee structure equivalent to that already in use in England. More information, including information about the proposed level of the fees, can be found here.

It is hoped that standardising the fee structure will mean that agencies are confident that they can cover the costs of recruiting prospective adopters, ensuring that they can continue to invest in recruitment even if the adopters are matched with children from outwith their local area.  In addition to ensuring that the best interests of the child is at the forefront of any potential match, this will also help to maximise the opportunities for children across Scotland who require adoptive placements, and to make best possible use of the opportunities available through the adoption register.

The first two thirds of the fee will be charged at the time of placement to cover all the work in recruiting, preparing and assessing the family and also in taking them through to matching and placement. The final third will be charged after a year or when the adoption order is granted to cover the support to the placement by the family’s agency.


Social Work Scotland

SWS (formerly the Association of Directors of Social Work – ADSW) commends the use of the following principles:

  • Local Authorities that provide adoption placements for children from out with their own boundaries should not be financially disadvantaged; the payment of agreed fees or reciprocal arrangements should be considered.
  • Local authorities should publicise their criteria for calculating and paying allowances, which should reflect future needs in the placement.

Visit the SWS website

Social Work Scotland