Support for new adopters
We offer tailored packages of support including:
- counselling, advice and information
- a dedicated duty line where you can get advice from a social worker
- training events and workshops on topics such as managing post adoption contact and therapeutic parenting
- evening support groups to meet and chat with other adoptive parents
- stay and play sessions for new families
- an annual fun day and Christmas parties
- regular e-news
- buddying up with other adoptive parents
- advice, support and mediation with post adoption contact arrangements
- helping you find other relevant support services
- access to family therapy and psychology services
- direct work with children including life story work
- help and advice on what to do if relationships in your adoptive family are breaking down
- advocacy and liaison with education and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
As with any parent, you will need to be able to meet the child’s financial needs. You could be eligible for the support available to all families – child benefit, family tax credit and disability living allowance, as appropriate, but the following is an example of adoption-specific benefits.
Adoption pay and leave
Adoption pay and leave entitlements for adoptive parents are similar to the pay and leave rights available to birth parents. This means that if you take time off work to adopt a child, you are likely to be eligible for Statutory Adoption Leave for up to 52 weeks. Leave can start on the date the child starts living with you or up to 14 days before the expected placement date.
Adoption pay is equal to 90% of your salary for the first six weeks of pay. The remaining 33 weeks are paid at £145.18 a week or 90% of your gross average weekly earnings (whichever is lower).
If you and your partner both work, you may also share parental leave and pay. You may share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay where the adopter takes less than their full entitlement of adoption leave and pay. The leave and pay must be taken within 52 weeks of the child being placed with your family or adoption. For more information, see the Gov.UK advice page for employers.
Support from the child’s local authority includes –
- One off payments
Buying everything a child needs when they first join your family can be expensive, but we may be able to help with some of these costs. Just ask your social worker.
We may also help with expenses incurred during the introduction period (for example, travel costs and any overnight stays, if required).
If it has been agreed that the child should have ongoing contact with someone from their birth family, we may also be able to help you meet the costs that this entails.
- Adoption allowance
Regular financial support can be paid on a weekly or monthly basis to adoptive parents if the child meets the eligibility criteria. This is designed to encourage the adoption of children who might otherwise not be adopted due to the extra costs associated with looking after them. The amount payable is determined and paid by the local authority caring for the child before adoption (the placing authority) and is means-tested. Lump sums or ongoing payments may be made at any stage and the payment is made by the placing authority. This is subject to an annual review process and is based on the child’s changing needs.
- Adoption Support Fund
Available for children who require therapeutic services. These therapies are designed to improve relationships with friends, family members, teachers and school staff, help the child learn better, manage their emotions and behaviour, and grow their confidence.
A huge range of therapies can be funded. To find out what the Fund covers, what it doesn’t cover, and if you’re eligible for assessment, please ask your social worker or give us a call. We’re here to help.
Adopting a stepchild or a child from overseas
If you’d like to find out about adopting a stepchild, or adopting a child from overseas, please contact the Adoption Support team in your local authority.
Other helpful organisations
Adoption UK can put you in touch with adopters who are facing the same issues as you and invite you to family days where you can meet other adoptive families. The Adoption UK helpline is available and gives information and support to adopters who are experiencing challenging behaviour from their children.
CoramBAAF supports, advises and campaigns for better outcomes for children in care.