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Government pledges Adoption Support Fund extension until 2021

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Adoptive families and children are set to benefit from a multi-million pound investment into therapeutic support aimed at helping them overcome past trauma.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced further funding for the Adoption Support Fund at Coram’s ‘Celebrating Success’ event yesterday (15 October), hosted to mark National Adoption Week. The commitment builds on the £130m already invested through the fund, which has benefitted over 40,000 families.

Williamson also announced an investment of almost £650,000 into Regional Adoption Agencies, who will coordinate work to find more adopters across the country, especially for harder to place children, such as siblings, older children and those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. This will include targeted digital work and work with black churches and mosques to increase the numbers of people from BAME communities coming forward to adopt.

The investment comes as the latest data shows there were over 4,000 children waiting to be adopted and only 1,700 families approved to adopt.*
 
The Education Secretary said:

“We have cut the average time between a child entering care and being placed with a family by seven months since 2012. It’s now down to 14 months. Obviously there is still substantial room for improvement. It still takes too long and not all adoptive families receive the support they need. But we’re definitely going in the right direction.

“Our adoption support fund which was set up in 2015, has provided a range of therapeutic support for nearly 50,000 children who have been through traumatic times before adoption. I am delighted to announce that we are going to extend this fund through to 2021, so families can now continue to access therapy support.”

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.

“The availability of consistent and timely post-adoption support is crucial in encouraging prospective adopters to come forward, and we hope the funding boost announced today will enable the recruitment of a wide range of adopters, and help all adoptive families to thrive.”

* Figures from the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board