Extra Funding To Help Adoption

Extra Funding To Help Adoption

Ahead of National Adoption Week, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced extra funding to support adopted children and their families.

The funding is aimed at helping adopted children overcome past trauma. Building on an investment of £130m that has already benefitted over 40,000 families, the Adoption Support Fund will give access to therapeutic support until 2021. The Fund was originally set to run until July 2020, however the funding has allowed for this to be extended to March 2021. Providing various types of therapy, including cognitive, play and music as well as family support sessions; not only would this help children come to terms with the trauma of separation, but help build stronger relationships with their new family. The extra funding for post adoption therapy may also go some way to encouraging prospective adopters to actually adopt. In a survey conducted by charity Adoption UK, a fifth of respondents decided not to proceed with an adoption because they were not confident that they would be well-supported. The charity has stated that they were “delighted that lifesaving support for adoptive families will continue for another year but warns a long-term commitment is still crucial”.

Speaking at Coram for National Adoption Week, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“This Government will do everything we can to help support young people into an adoptive home and we’re tapping into the expertise of the wonderful people that work in this sector. In recent years, the trend that concerns us all is the disparity between numbers of children awaiting adoption and adoptive families ready to take them. This is a trend that must change, and I want to do everything I can to help you do that.”

Dr Carol Homden, CEO of Coram, said:

“We welcome the Government’s renewed commitment to adoption recruitment and support, particularly at a time when more adopters are urgently needed for the children waiting.

“At Coram we have long recognised the transformative effect that early therapeutic support can have on adopted children and their families. For children who have experienced a difficult start in life, it is vital that the right help can be accessed quickly and easily.”

Alongside the Adoption Support Fund, Mr Williamson also announced extra investment into Regional Adoption Agencies to help find more adopters across the country. A £645,000 investment will help towards finding adopters for “hard to place” children. According to statistics, boys over the age of four, disabled children, black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) children and sibling groups are harder to place. British white children are usually adopted after 919 days, however boys of black African decent are adopted on average after 1,302 days. The Regional Adoption Agency fund boost will look to work with people from BAME communities to encourage more adoptions.

Alongside the funding and drive to improve the adoption process and help for adoptive families, the Department is also investing in programmes to keep children with their birth families, when safe to do so, looking to tackle the core reasons that lead to the breakdown of a family and children being placed in care.

With over 40% of children waiting for adoption for over 18 months and currently 2,700 children awaiting adoption (24% of these from BAME backgrounds), the funding will certainly help in placing children and offering support.

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