The government today announced a new £160million funding boost to help recruit and support adoptive families over the next three years. The investment includes £144 million for the Adoption Support Fund and a pledge to provide “additional support including cognitive therapy, family support sessions and activities to help children recover from earlier traumas like abuse or neglect, helping them settle into their new families and homes”.
The new funding also includes £19.5 million to strengthen the work of Regional Adoption Agencies, to “improve national matching between parents and children, and focus on recruitment of prospective adopters from all communities so make sure they are not deterred from the idea of adoption because of their background”.
Dr Carol Homden CBE, Chief Executive of Coram, said:
“It is vitally important to children in need of adoption than they find the loving home they need as early as possible and that, no matter where they live, they have an equal chance of accessing high quality support in a timely way to enable them to thrive. This strategic commitment and resourcing gives a welcome boost to this shared aim across the sector and the results will be seen in the lives of children for years to come”.
New figures from The Department for Education published today to coincide with the announcement include the following information:
- A 23% increase in the number of families approved to adopt, from 1,930 in September 2020 to 2,370 at September 2021.
- 3,700 children left care under a permanence order between April-September 2021-22 – either through an adoption or a Special Guardianship Order – an increase of 31% on the previous year.
- The number of children waiting longer than 18 months to be adopted has dropped, despite the challenges faced by the care sector during the pandemic.
Evaluation reports have also reflected on how post-adoption support, facilitated by the Adoption Support Fund, is helping families. Parents and carers said they most frequently accessed were focused on helping them form attachments as a family (‘Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy’), therapeutic ‘life story’ work aimed at supporting open, honest conversations about a child’s history, play therapy for the child, sensory processing therapy for children who have difficulties with change or transitions, or training for parents such as non-violent resistance or in building and nurturing attachments.
You can read the full statement from the DfE here.