£5m funding to boost adoption support services

Education bosses will invest a further £5m in adoption services that offer music activities, play therapy and family support sessions.

Investment in the Adoption Support Fund (ASF), which launched in 2015 and provides a range of therapeutic support to adopted children and their parents, will be increased from £40m last year, to £45m this year (2020-21).

A spokesman for the Department of Education said many adopted children experience difficult and traumatic experiences before being adopted, which can prevent them from settling into their new home.

The Adoption Support Fund will provide cognitive therapy, family support sessions and activities such as play and music to help children recover from earlier traumas, help enhance the attachment they feel to their new families and adjust to their new lives.

Education secretary Gavin Williamson said: ‘Most of us are lucky enough to be able to spend time with a loving family over Christmas – but not everyone is that fortunate. It is a heartbreaking fact that there are far too many children still waiting for a stable home and the love and support they need.

‘One of the most generous gifts anyone can give is that of a loving home, which is why I have nothing but admiration for those who foster or adopt a child and help them develop and flourish into happy and successful adults.

‘We’ve been working hard to reverse the falling numbers of adoptions but the problem we have is that there are simply not enough foster or adoptive parents. That’s why I’m announcing this new package of support.’

Adoption UK’s Adoption Barometer report, which surveyed about 3,500 families across the UK, was published earlier this year. It revealed that four in five adopters who accessed support via the fund said it has had a significant positive impact on both their child and their family situation.

While a third of adopters said the support they accessed via the fund has helped them to avoid a potential disruption or adoption breakdown.

Adoption UK’s chief executive Dr Sue Armstrong Brown said growing the fund is essential to encourage more adopters to come forward, but stressed the government’s next move must be a longer-term commitment to the ASF.

She said: ‘We know that the right post-adoption support can keep adoptive families together. The ASF is a lifeline for adoptive parents so we’re delighted investment will increase by £5 million next year.

‘The fund’s lifespan currently only runs up until March 2021 – we need to see the new government secure the future of the fund until 2030.’

Photo Credit – Pixabay

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