The councils’ initiative is part of the national Government’s policy to create larger, region-wide adoption bodies to ensure all children in need get a permanent, stable family as swiftly as possible.

What we did

To develop the communications elements of the transition project, TK Associates’ director Tariq Khwaja facilitated workshop sessions with representatives from all the partners involved.

We explored the goals of the project, the challenges and risks it faces, the benefits it will bring and the factors necessary for success.

We undertook a stakeholder mapping session to identify the people who needed to be engaged – from councillors to judges, adoption panel members, social workers, adopters and the general community. What were the perceptions and interests of each?  What level of influence over the success of the project did they wield? Exploring these factors enabled us to profile and rank them in priority order.

Based on this analysis, we then developed a focused, two-year communications strategy, along with a practical timetable of activity, to ensure all relevant stakeholders would be engaged in the most effective way. This included consultation with adopters and adoptees and methods to explain the changes to the general public.

We also developed a ‘Messaging Framework’ to ensure the complicated project could be explained by all partners in clear, simple terms that people would understand in order to maximise support.

The results

We delivered our project on time and within budget, with clear new messages and a comprehensive engagement strategy approved by the adoption agency project board and now being implemented. The new agency – named Adoption@Heart – is now fully operational, securing children’s well-being right across Central England and the West Midlands.

The client’s view 

“We asked TK Associates to work with us to develop a communications and engagement strategy to create a new regional adoption agency.

Tariq’s expertise was a huge asset in identifying what we needed to do as well as the messages we needed to put out.

With his help, we had a clear action plan for communicating effectively with all our stakeholders and making sure our project would be a success.”

Carol Bennion, Project Manager, Adoption@Heart