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RAA delivery models

How would a joint venture between a voluntary organisation and LA(s) work?


September 15, 2016

I’d like to get your thoughts on what potential benefits there would be for a VAA that partnered with a local authority to form a Regional Adoption Agency Joint Venture.

For a LA I think it’s relatively straightforward – they at least get an adoption service that meets their needs (hopefully!)

For VAAs, they would need a financial return in some form, since they are businesses that need to stay afloat. If the vehicle setup allows for profit-sharing then they would benefit that way, but given RAAs must be not for profit this does not seem to be an option – so what other ways are there? So far I have only thought of the following two things:

– preferred supplier status or similar for the delivery of commissioned services, providing the VAA with a more secure revenue stream. This might include having their adopters given equal consideration alongside RAA adopters when matching children, even though there would be an inter-agency fee to pay; or providing adoption support services to the RAA.

– access to LA resources (premises, equipment, licenses, training etc), providing cost savings rather than revenue.

What other benefits have you thought of?

There is also the question of how much of the VAA is put into the JV:

– if the VAA makes a contribution but remains a separate entity then, if it located in the RAA’s geography, there might be issues about it competing with its own RAA, particularly in terms of recruiting adopters, e.g. confusion for adopters about the difference between the VAA and the RAA JV. I think it’s less of an issue for adoption support services as they could be sold to other RAAs if their own RAA doesn’t purchase it;

– if all of a VAA is put into the JV then the VAA ceases to exist. This would eliminate any potential competition issues but is not an option for any VAA that wishes to continue to operate.

This leads me to think that VAAs might be better off partnering with RAAs that they are not located in if they want to continue to recruit adopters, and close to / in the region if they want to provide adoption support services. Being on the border might enable them to do both for one RAA with minimal conflict (close enough for adopters to travel for adoption support, but not competing too much over the same population for the recruitment of adopters), but perhaps partnering with more than one RAA could work (recruiting adopters for one and providing adoption support services for the other).

What do you think?

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