TK Associates has completed a communications strategy to help six English local authorities and three charities create a new regional child adoption agency.

The new agency will be called Adoption@Heart and will cover a large part of central England and the West Midlands.

It is being created by Wolverhampton, Shropshire, Dudley, Telford & Wrekin, Sandwell and Walsall councils – in partnership with three adoption charities – to replace their separate adoption services.

The move is part of the Government’s national policy to create larger adoption bodies as a more effective way to ensure all children who need it get a permanent, stable family as swiftly as possible.

We were hired to help because of our expertise in communications strategy and the local government sector.

The project was led by Tariq Khwaja who:

  • facilitated a planning workshop with representatives from the local authorities and charitable bodies (shown left)
  • created messages to explain and gain support for the complex, multi-partner initiative
  • developed a wide-ranging strategy to support the transition to the new agency, identifying stakeholders, ranking them by their level of influence and outlining the best ways to win their backing

The communications strategy covers engagement with staff, judges, councillors, children’s services directors, social workers and adoption panels amongst others. It includes consultation with adoptees and prospective adopters and ways to explain the changes to the general public.

The messages and engagement strategy have been approved by the Adoption@Heart board.

Carola Bennion, project manager of the Adoption@Heart initiative, comments: “We asked TK Associates to work with us to develop a communications and engagement strategy for our project to create a new regional adoption agency. Tariq’s expertise was a huge asset in identifying what we need to do as well as the messages we need to put out about the project.

“With his help, we now have a clear action plan for communicating effectively to all our stakeholders.”

The new regional adoption agency is planned to start operating from 2018.


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