Sally Donovan, adoptive mother of 2, and Hugh Thornberry were on BBC Breakfast this week to talk about the importance of the Adoption Support Fund. A report by Adoption UK in 2012 showed that only 28% of adoptive families feel that they were getting the support that they required. The Adoption Support Fund of £19 million, which is available from today 1st May 2015, is available for families across the country in need of support services.
In June 2014 we wrote about how the Adoption Support Fund had been set up to offer £2 million for support to families who were adopting children from certain local authorities. From the 1st May 2015, the Adoption Support Fund will be available nationally. Therefore no matter where you live, if you are thinking about adopting a child who requires additional support then you could be entitled to some of the £19.5 million which has been made available.
The Adoption Support Fund offers support for therapeutic input which is not currently available under normal adoption support services provided by local authorities or specialist training for the adopters. If you feel that the child or children you are adopting require specialist support then you should approach your local authority and ask for an assessment. They will then decide on what support they feel is needed and make an application to the Adoption Support Fund, who will make a determination with regard to the support. If it is granted they will then release the funds to for the support to the local authority.
This support is available to all children who have been adopted from local authority care up the age of 18. Therefore it is not just available to people who are currently going through the adoption process.
“The Adoption Support Fund has been available to adopted children in 10 local authorities for almost a year now with huge success. It is great that the government are acknowledging that adoptive families up and down the country require additional support due to the emotional and difficult upbringing the children had within their birth families. I hope that the success of the fund will continue and encourage more people in the UK to adopt.
As this is a new national fund we do not know the criteria the local Authorities use when assessing if a child requires additional support or the criteria the fund uses when deciding to release the money. Sadly it is common knowledge that adoption placements can break down due to lack of support, hence the introduction of this new fund. If, however, you find that the local authority assess your child as not requiring the additional support, my colleague, Tracey Ling may be able to assist to ensure the right support is in place for you and your family.”
Here at the Adoption Legal Centre we want to make sure that the adoptive parents get the support they require at the earliest opportunity instead of waiting until the placement looks like it is going to break down. If you are starting the adoption process or have already adopted and require additional support then please contact us on 01484 538421 and ask to speak to a member of the Adoption Legal Centre.