New adopters need guaranteed long-term support if their families are to thrive, says Adoption UK.
This National Adoption Week (18th October–23rd October), the charity is calling on the Government to make a ten-year commitment to the Adoption Support Fund (ASF), which provides adoptive families in England with therapeutic support. A third of parents told Adoption UK support accessed through the ASF had helped them avoid a family breakdown.
National Adoption Week aims to find homes for those children waiting to be adopted.
The latest figures show there were 2,100 children in England waiting to be matched with a family, and 2,160 approved adopters waiting to be matched. But there is still a desperate need to find families for children who are deemed harder to place. Children who wait the longest to be matched are aged 4 or older, from sibling groups, ethnic minorities, or have disabiliti
Adopted children are among the most complex and vulnerable in society, with three-quarters having suffered serious neglect or abuse in their early lives, with lasting impact on relationships, health, and learning. These children can require intensive therapy and long-term support to help them thrive.
Christina, who along with her husband, adopted Rosie, now aged seven, said: ‘There were daily meltdowns lasting hours, if not all day, violence and verbal abuse. I made the call to post adoption support and begged for help. They were amazing, and things moved fast.’
Rosie had multiple assessments and, thanks to the Adoption Support Fund, is receiving dyadic developmental psychotherapy. She now has a total of 12 different diagnoses including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), complex developmental trauma and attachment disorder.
Christina continued: ‘I am not sure where we would be today without the support we’ve had, and we will be forever grateful for the wonderful social workers, therapists and adoption community. Despite the amazing support we received from our post adoption services Rosie would have benefited from these assessments at a much earlier age. We hope that one day the support adopted children deserve will be guaranteed rather than living our life on tenterhooks each year waiting to see if the government has renewed the funding to the adoption support fund.’
Adoption UK’s Alison Woodhead explained: ‘For the third year running, 71% of adoptive parents have told us they face a continual struggle for support. All too often these families are being failed by a system which invests heavily in the placement of children for adoption, then fades into the background, often with terrible consequences.’
Adoption UK is calling for thorough assessments for every adopted child before they move to their new families, leading to a detailed support plan that considers future as well as current needs, and a duty for adoption agencies to deliver the agreed support.
The charity has also launched Bravely Being Me, a book aimed at adopted children aged 7–10, to coincide with National Adoption Week. The book is a celebratory anthology of inspiring people who were adopted as children. It features a diverse mix of celebrities from broadcaster Toby Anstisto comedian Dara O’Briain and f