The Government has announced that its Adoption Support Fund will be extended for the next four years, so adoptive families can access funding for crucial therapy services from day one of caring for their child, rather than waiting months for the adoption order to be finalised.

Increased government funding totalling over £200m will also be made available – redoubling efforts to breakdown bureaucratic barriers in the adoption system which can lead to children waiting in care for months longer than necessary.

The money will see the speeding up of adoptions of harder to place children, support the creation of new Regional Adoption Agencies to improve the recruitment of adopters and matching with children, strengthen voluntary adoption agencies and ensure social workers have the right knowledge and skills to make robust decisions about the best placements for children.

In addition, the scope of the fund will be widened so that families can now receive funding for support from the moment children are placed with them, rather than having to wait until the adoption order is finalised.

Adoption Focus CEO Anna Sharkey said:

“Confirmation from the Government of the continuation of the Adoption Support Fund is good news for adopters who may need additional support for their children.

At Adoption Focus, we are very proud of our Adoption Support service and we are committed to providing long-term support to all of our adoptive families. Additional funding being made available to support adopters will help us to continue proving an excellent service, and is very welcome.”

It has also been announced that the  Government will seek to change legislation as soon as possible to prioritise the placement of vulnerable children with a loving family where adoption is in the best interest of the child. For the first time ever, the law will explicitly state that councils and courts must prioritise the quality of care the child will need in order to recover from abuse and neglect. Where appropriate, children will be placed as quickly as possible with the person best able to care for them until their 18th birthday – rather than with carers who can’t provide the support they need over the long term.

More information on the planned changes to adoption law can be found here.