Adoption Support Fund

One hundred and sixty adoptive families across the country have now benefitted from essential therapy services to help their children settle into their new homes, thanks to a new government fund.

Many adopted children have experienced difficult and traumatic experiences before being placed with their forever family, which can prevent them from settling into their new homes and can create difficulties at particular stages such as adolescence.

The £19.3 million Adoption Support Fund - piloted across 10 areas before being rolled out nationwide from May 2015 - helps pay for essential therapy services for adoptive families as and when they need it. And in just 8 months, the councils test driving the scheme have helped over 160 adoptive families, with support made available totalling over £1 million.

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson, who grew up with 2 adopted brothers, said:

“It’s encouraging that after just 8 months more than 160 adoptive families have been given the help and support they need to bond with their families and settle into their new lives.

I know from my own personal experience that some children adopted from care will have been through terrible ordeals which do not just simply disappear once they have settled with their new families.

Adopters across the country who could benefit from therapeutic services should now be asking their local authority to apply to the fund so that they too can benefit from this essential support.”

Adoption UK CEO Hugh Thornbery, said:

“I am delighted that following successful pilots in 10 local authorities, more than 160 adoptive families across England have been able to access therapeutic support.

In the pilot areas we’ve seen the fund make a difference to families so we look forward to it being rolled out across England and will be seeking feedback from our members on its implementation.

The fund is a huge step in the right direction towards ensuring that families get the help they need to parent vulnerable children.”

The Adoption Support Fund is part of a wider package of reforms introduced by the government through the Children and Families Act, including a faster approval process so the majority of people are approved within 6 months and new rules so prospective adopters and children are placed on the adoption register within 3 months. These reforms have resulted in a record high in adoptions over the last 12 months.

The government has also:

·         extended entitlements so that children in care going straight through to adoption have access to priority school admissions, the pupil premiums and - from September 2014 - are eligible for free early education for 2-year-olds

·         published the adoption passport setting out the rights and entitlements of adoptive parents, and new online maps allowing potential adopters to find out more about services in their area

·         set up First4Adoption, a dedicated information service for people interested in adopting a child in England