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Interagency fee

The interagency fee is a charge that is paid when a local authority places a child with an adopter approved by another adoption agency (this could be another local authority, a regional adoption agency, or a voluntary adoption agency).

The purpose of the interagency fee is to ensure that agencies receive adequate payment for the work involved in recruiting, assessing, preparing, approving and matching their adopters, and in supporting a child’s start in their adoptive family’s home. It is also intended to encourage the matching of children and adopters across agency boundaries, which is crucial for avoiding delay and ensuring the best possible matches for children.

The interagency fee increases every year on 1 April in line with Consumer price inflation including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) for the previous calendar year, as published by the Office for National Statistics.

In 2023, due to the exceptional circumstances of high inflation and the impact on local authority budgets, after consultation with members, CVAA has agreed to limit the inflationary increase in the interagency fee to 5%. Whilst this will be a challenge for the VAA sector which needs to meet agreed pay rises for social workers and substantial increases in running costs, it is hoped limiting the increase in this way will enable more children to be placed with the best adoptive families to serve their needs.

Interagency fee rates & terms 2023/24 – England, Wales

Interagency fee rates & terms 2023/24 – NI

Interagency fee rates & terms 2023/24 – Scotland

An operational guide with Appendices

The CoramBAAF Form IA 2021 (UK-wide) can be downloaded here.

CVAA has also produced a briefing about the interagency fee in cases where children have been placed with families for over 12 months without an Adoption Order being made. The briefing summarises a survey of our members and explains how the fee is used by VAAs and why it is important.

Please note that the interagency fee is paid by adoption agencies – it is not charged to adopters.

Adoption is free of charge for all who wish to adopt