Children adopted from care can have ongoing needs, and children and adopters may benefit from support. Our Adoption Passport gives an overview of the support our adopters may be entitled to from Adoption Focus, and more generally.

For your child

Children adopted from care have priority access to schools, which means that your child should be able to attend whichever school you think best meets their needs (www.gov.uk/schools-admissions).

They are now also entitled to free early education from the age of two (www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/free-childcare-and-education-for-2-to-4-year-olds).

If your child needs extra support, we can assist you in requesting an assessment of adoption support needs from the Local Authority who placed your child. If you think your child may have special educational needs, we can offer advice and support for you in asking your Local Authority to assess these needs too.

For you as an adopter

Many adopters are entitled to adoption leave and pay when their child is placed with them (www.gov.uk/adoption-pay-leave). The law is changing to make this entitlement equal to maternity and paternity leave pay, and it will include the right to take time off when you are meeting your child, before they move in with you.

Adopters may have priority for council housing (www.gov.uk/council-housing). If you are living in council housing and claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit while waiting for a child to move in, you can also apply for funding (Discretionary Housing Payments) so that you are not penalised financially while you have an empty spare room.

You are also entitled to a summary of your child’s health from his or her Local Authority’s medical adviser before he or she is placed with you and background information to help you understand your child’s early life. After your child has been placed with you, a Life Story Book will be provided by the Local Authority to help your child understand his or her early life.

Support Services Advice

The Local Authority responsible for placing your child/ren or responsible for providing Adoption Support Services will have an Adoption Support Services Adviser (ASSA) to help you access adoption support and other specialist services, such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

The NHS commissions health services to meet the needs of adopted children and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence will produce new guidance so that your GP will understand the problems that you may face. The Adoption Support Services Adviser’s contact details should be available on the Local Authority’s website.

Every adopter is entitled to an assessment of their adoption support needs, but Local Authorities do not have to provide support in response to an assessment.

The services that you are able to access will depend on your circumstances. The Adoption Support Fund (implemented on the 1st May 2015) means that Local Authorities must tell adopters about Adoption Support Services and their right to an assessment, and will give those who receive support a choice about how that support is provided, either by a Local Authority or through a ‘personal budget’ to purchase services from an Adoption Agency, or adoption support agency. The provider of Adoption Support Services must be Ofsted registered.

The Adoption Support Fund is available for children up to and including the age of 21 (or 25 with an Statement of Educational Needs or Education, Health & Care Plan) who have been adopted from Local Authority care in England or adopted from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland but who are living in England and for whom the English Local Authority bears the statutory responsibility to assess. Since 1st April 2016, the fund is now also available to inter-country adopters and Special Guardians who care for children who were previously looked after.

If you want advice on adoption support you can also contact one of the many adoption support organisations, such as Adoption UK or read the e-learning materials on the First4Adoption website which explore the effect of children’s experiences on their development and the services available to help them.

Which Local Authority?

The Local Authority that places your child with you is responsible for assessing your adoption support needs for three years after the adoption order has been granted.

After three years, it becomes the responsibility of the Local Authority where you live (if this is different from the Local Authority which placed your child).

If you are approved by an Adoption Agency, like Adoption Focus, you can benefit from accessing a wide range of adoption support services that are offered by the agency, in addition to or alongside any statutory duties that the Local Authority have identified through your assessment.

Adoption Support Services provided by Adoption Focus

Adopters can access Adoption Focus’ post adoption support services at any time if they should require any extra support in meeting their children’s needs.

Access to these services is available to all Adoption Focus adopters from the very beginning of their adoption journey, right the way through to when their child becomes an adult and beyond.

Nurture the Journey is Adoption Focus’ adoption support package which is tailored to the needs of each family.

Adoption Support services provided by Adoption Focus include:

Four-day preparation training

  • Understanding Children’s Behaviour (UCB)
  • Therapeutic Play workshop
  • Existing children in the family workshop
  • Siblings workshop
  • Friends and Family workshop
  • Telling & life story consultations
  • Presentations to school
  • Teen group
  • Tween group
  • Play & Stay
  • Buddy Scheme (committed and experienced adopters who are able to support adopters along their journey)
  • Second time adopters
  • Enhanced Adoptive Parenting (EAP)
  • Social events
  • Focus on the Fellas (Father’s group)
  • DDP informed support and advice

Services available through the Adoption Support Fund (ASF)

  • Theraplay informed intervention (MIM, tailored sessions and report)
  • Therapeutic Life Story Work by accredited practitioners

Adoption Focus is committed to working closely with local authorities to ensure adoption support services are accessed for them and their children.

To access Adoption Support Services from Adoption Focus please email [email protected] or call 0121 779 0891.

Compliments and complaints

We hope that your contact and experience with Adoption Focus is positive and helpful at all times. If so, we'd love to hear from you. If however you feel this is not the case we welcome your comments and insights. Our Compliments, Comments and Complaints leaflet is available to download here (47kb).

Family Society - Adoption Focus
TS3 Pinewood Business Park
Coleshill Road
Marston Green
Birmingham
B37 7HG

Email: [email protected]

 

Adoption Focus is the registered adoption agency of Family Society, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under number 06869556.

Family Society is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales under number 1129095 and with Ofsted under number SC394569.

 

Registered Office

Kemp House
152 City Road
London
EC1V 2NX