The announcement was made today (Thursday 26 June) as Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families, visited Coram’s Campus and met parents who have adopted through its service.
Ten councils across the country will now trial the new Adoption Support Fund, which aims to give adopted children better access to important services such as behavioural therapy, play and music therapy and family support sessions.
Edward Timpson, who has two adopted brothers, said:
“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.
“We want all adoptive families to know help is there for them and their new child every step of the way. The Adoption Support Fund will help ensure the families in most need are able to access crucial services when they need them.”
Coram, which operates a leading Voluntary Adoption Agency, offers life-long support to adoptive families. Coram CEO, Dr Carol Homden CBE, who is a member of the Adoption Leadership Board, said:
“We welcome the Adoption Support Fund and the government’s commitment to enabling greater numbers of adoptive families to have their support needs met.
“Coram has long recognised how important access to support, such as therapeutic parenting courses and art and music therapy, is in helping adoptive families develop secure and loving attachments and thrive.
“As the Fund is rolled out we look forward to ways of involving Coram’s expertise so that post-adoption support is not only more available and accessible to families, it is also well-evidenced and consistent throughout the country.”
Following the £2 million pilot, a further £19.3 million will be provided next year to roll out the Adoption Support Fund nationally, aiming to improve post-adoption support to families across the country. Over time, councils, adoption agencies and other organisations will add money to the pot to provide a constant flow of support services.
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 six months and new rules so prospective adopters and children are placed on the adoption register within three months.
The Government has also extended entitlements for so that children in care and those who go on to be adopted have access to priority school admissions, the Pupil Premium, and, from September 2014, eligibility for free early education for 2-year-olds.
The Adoption Passport has been published, setting out the rights and entitlements of adoptive parents, along with new online maps, which allow potential adopters to find out more information about services in their area.