A new government fund worth £19.3 million for adoptive parents is due to roll out in 2015 to provide access to therapy and family support services. Cognitive, play and music therapies help children to settle and bond with their new families as well as assisting recovery from previous experiences.
The scheme aims to “ensure that children have a stable and fulfilling childhood – a fundamental right for every child, no matter what their starting point in life,” according to the minister for children and families, Edward Timpson.
Local authorities are responsible for assessing adoptive families to help them find the right support, but a study by Adoption UK found that many parents remain unaware of what they are entitled to. Only 56% of adoptive parents reported that they were receiving the support they needed, and despite over half of survey participants saying they would benefit from therapeutic services, in actuality, only 28% were provided with therapy through their adoption agency.
A trial scheme will commence shortly and the Adoption Support Fund is due to become a national service in 2015, expanding the choice of therapeutic services for adoptive families. The Department for Education has said it hopes to see adoption agencies, local authorities and other relevant organisations contributing to the fund to ensure that adoption support becomes a realistic long-term provision.
Chief Executive of Adoption UK Hugh Thornberry explained:
“We believe that the government’s commitment to providing funding for adoption support has the potential to be the most influential advance so far in improving today’s adoption system. With the majority of children currently waiting in care for adoption coming from a traumatised background, this momentous development provides the foundation on which a successful adoption system can be built.”
adoption, adoption support fund, children and families, family