Department for Education announces extension of the Adoption Support Fund for families

We know that therapeutic support is hugely significant for so many adoptive and special guardianship families at some point in their lives.

The Department for Education has today announced a short extension to the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) which provides essential therapeutic support for adoptive and special guardianship families. This extension takes the fund beyond its previous end date of March 2020 and guarantees support applied for and commencing in the financial year 2019/20.

Over the past year or so, Home for Good and other organisations in the sector have been encouraging the Government to make a long-term commitment to the fund. The announcement today will come as a relief to many families across the country who were facing uncertainty about the future of this vital source of support.

The fund began in 2015 and has supported more than 35,000 families since its inception. By helping address some of the complex needs that many children in these families have as a result of early childhood trauma, the fund has been described as a “lifeline” by many families.

Anya Sizer, Mother of three, said “As an adoptive parent I welcome today’s news regarding the extension of the adoption support fund. For us as a family the fund has enabled our local authority to provide vital ongoing assessment and support. Without the funding and help it has provided I have no doubt we would be in an incredibly dark place still as a family.”

Whilst Home for Good welcomes this initial commitment by the Department for Education, the longer-term future of the ASF remains uncertain and dependent on the annual Government Spending Review in the Autumn.

Anya continues by saying “Although today’s news is to be welcomed, it is not enough that the funding is not assured long term for all adoptive families. There needs to be a firm and permanent financial commitment, to mirror the daily commitment given by adoptive families to societies’ most vulnerable children.”

In partnership with Adoption UK and Rachael Maskell MP, Home for Good has recently set up an All Party Parliamentary Group for Adoption and Permanence, which will address the future of the ASF through an inquiry as its first activity over the coming months.

Phil Green, CEO at Home for Good says “We know that therapeutic support is hugely significant for so many adoptive and special guardianship families at some point in their lives. We are so pleased to see the Department for Education has taken this unusual step to put an extension fund in place and demonstrate their commitment to the future of the ASF. We hope that this will send a strong message to the Treasury that the ASF is critical and steps will be taken to secure a long-term commitment to the fund as part of the Treasury’s Spending Review later in the year. We at Home for Good are pleased to be supporting the new APPG on Adoption and Permanence and will ensure that through this group, we keep vulnerable children and their families on the political agenda.

The Department for Education has produced a document providing further information about the extension, which is available here.

Author:
Home for Good


Date published:
27 March 2019


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