Adoption Support Agencies: proposed regulation changes

Closed 20 Mar 2023

Opened 9 Jan 2023

Feedback updated 28 Nov 2023

We asked

We asked whether the Ofsted registration requirement should be removed:

  • for providers of adoption support services working under a contract with an adoption agency; and
  • for providers of adoption-related counselling and therapeutic services to adults

You said

By a strong majority in both instances, you agreed that the registration requirement should be removed.

We did

Regulations which will make both these proposed changes were laid before Parliament on 27 November 2023, and will come into force on 18 December 2023, subject to Parliamentary approval.


We're seeking views to exempt some providers of adoption support services from the Ofsted registration requirement.  

Why your views matter

Most adoption support service providers must register with Ofsted as Adoption Support Agencies (ASAs), which brings safeguarding and service quality protection.

However, the Department for Education believes that aspects of this requirement are not working in practice.

We propose to amend the Adoption Support Services Regulation 2005 and the Adoption Support Agency (England) and Adoption Agencies (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2005 to simplify arrangements for providers and increase accessibility of these support services.  


  • Local authorities
  • Virtual school heads
  • Parents
  • Adoptive parents
  • Social workers
  • Social workers
  • Principle social workers
  • Directors of children's services
  • Adult and mental health practitioners


  • Adoption
  • Care leavers and former looked-after children
  • Health and wellbeing (Looked after children)
  • Keeping children safe in education and other settings