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Mapping regional collaboration in children's services

Regional collaboration in children's services is now firmly part of the way services are organised. Mutual Ventures has produced a series of maps to show how existing structures sit alongside each other.

Regional or pan-local authority working is a significant and growing part of the landscape of children’s social care in England.

At the vanguard of this trend was the creation of Regional Adoption Agencies from 2017. In 2024-25, Regional Adoption Agencies will be joined by ten Fostering Recruitment Support Hubs and two Pathfinder Regional Care Cooperatives (RCCs). And with both sides of the political divide committing to further reform of children’s services, regional working is here to stay.

Mapping regional structures

Understanding the landscape of children's social care can be complex. That's why we've created a series of maps to illustrate how existing regional structures in children's social care intersect.

Specific services highlighted are ADCS Regional Improvement and Innovation Alliances, Regional Adoption Agencies, and Fostering Recruitment Support Hubs.

These also sit alongside wider structures of regional governance and control, including devolution areas and Integrated Care Systems.

Click through the maps below:

Implications for the future

As these structures continue to evolve, it’s crucial to understand the implications they have for how social care in delivered. By understanding how they interconnect, leaders and practitioners can better navigate the system and identify opportunities for collaboration or improvement.

At Mutual Ventures, we have a deep knowledge and experience of supporting regional working in children's services. From supporting the implementation of Regional Adoption Agencies to being the current delivery partner for the Department for Education’s Fostering Recruitment & Retention Programme, we are committed to supporting positive change in the sector.

To find out more about our work in children's services, click here.

If you are interested in looking more at the impact of regional structures in your areas, please contact


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