Adoption Support Fund
What is the Adoption Support Fund?
The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) is a new fund established to help pay for essential therapy services for adoptive families as and when they need it. It has been set up because many families need some kind of support during and following adoption and too many have struggled to get the help they need in the past. The ASF will enable adoptive families to access the services they need more easily in future.
Who is eligible for support from the Adoption Support Fund?
The ASF is available for children up to and including the age of 21 (or 25 with an SEN Statement/EHC Plan) who have been adopted from Local Authority care in England or adopted from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland but living in England and for whom the English LAs bear the statutory responsibility to assess. From 01st April 2016, the Fund is now also available for Intercountry adoptions (once the placement has been made and the child is in England) and for Special Guardians who care for children who were previously looked after.
How can I access funding from the Adoption Support Fund?
To access the ASF, you will need to have an assessment of your families’ adoption support needs by the Local Authority. You have the right to request an assessment and your Local Authority is required by law to conduct one. The Local Authority that places the child with you is responsible for assessing your adoption support needs for three years after the adoption order is complete. After three years it becomes the responsibility of the Local Authority where you live (if different). Where the social worker identifies that therapeutic services would be beneficial to your family, they will be able to apply to the ASF on your behalf. The social worker would be expected to talk to you about who can provide the types of service that you need and which provider you would prefer. This could be the Local Authority itself, a neighbouring Local Authority, an independent provider, or an NHS provider. In the case of a successful application, funding will be released to the Local Authority to commission the approved services.