Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

BAAF urges extension of adoption support to special guardians

Support services for children who have been adopted must be extended to those placed with families under special guardianship orders, a charity has said.

From today (1 May) adoptive families will be able to access specialist therapeutic services to help children settle into adoption placements through the government’s £19.3m Adoption Support Fund.
It is estimated that the fund could provide support for in the region of 3,000 families who have adopted children, but there is concern that families who take on children through similar arrangements – special guardianship orders (SGOs) – are not eligible for the same kind of support.
The British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), which is playing a part supporting councils to access the fund on behalf of families, says special guardians need additional support as well.

BAAF's head of policy, research and development, John Simmonds, said: “There still isn’t funding available for these children to access therapeutic services yet they have often experienced similar trauma to those adopted from care.”

The use of SGOs, an order made by a court under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 which gives legal status for non-parents, meaning a child or a young person can live with them permanently, has rocketed in recent years.

A total of 3,330 SGOs were issued between April 2013 and March 2014, compared with 1,290 in 2010.

BAAF is also calling for the fund to be made available to families that adopt internationally.
Bernie Stringer, BAAF therapeutic services manager, said: “For a long time now we have been saying that legal status does not determine need.
“This fund needs to be inclusive to all children that cannot return home and are involved in permanent care arrangements.”

In the absence of access to the Adoption Support Fund, families with an SGO will continue to have to rely on council funding to access therapeutic support, she added.
Leading up to the launch of the Adoption Support Fund, concerns have been raised that the marketplace for services is underdeveloped.

Both Adoption UK and The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (Tact) have acknowledged that work needs to be done to improve the range of services on offer.
Last May Hugh Thornbery, chief executive of Adoption UK, described the provision of support services as "patchy".

In November last year the chief executive Tact, Andy Elvin, said there was "very little by way of evidence-tested and robust post-adoption support".

BAAF has said it is looking to address this by creating a national network of therapists that families can access.

So far around 25 independent therapists have been signed up through a recruitment drive.
Stringer says there is a particular shortage of therapists in the North of England and is urging therapists wanting to support children who have been adopted to come forward.

She said: “We want to grow that number. We would particularly like to recruit therapists from north of the Midlands. The majority of our applications have come from the Midlands and the South.”

Hugh Thornberry said Adoption UK will monitor the initiative and listen to feedback from parents.
“The fund is a huge step in the right direction towards ensuring that families get the help they need to parent vulnerable children,” he said.

The Adoption Support Fund was first announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in September 2013 as part of a range of measures unveiled by the coalition government in an attempt to improve the adoption system.

Story courtesy of CYP Now

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Inspectorate warn children at Rainsbrook were at risk of harm


Children held at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre were placed at risk of harm as a result of serious and widespread failings at the centre, a joint inspection by Ofsted, The Care Commission and HMI Prisons has found.

The joint report comes after the Lord Chancellor Lord Buckland announced last week that all children were [...]

Read Full Story

All children removed from Rainsbrook


All children are to be removed from Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre, the Lord Chancellor has announced.

Robert Buckland has confirmed that work is underway to move all children from the privately-run Secure Training Centre amid serious ongoing concerns about safety and performance.

The Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland said: “Six months ago, I demanded that MTC take [...]

Read Full Story

Response to 'Case for Change'


What the children’s services sector said about the independent review into children’s social care.


The Association of Directors of Children’s Services President, Charlotte Ramsden, said: “This review is a once in a generation opportunity to make meaningful and lasting change for the children and young people who need our help and support to thrive. The case [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram