Adoption Support Fund

Some adopted children may experience early trauma and separation, leading to coping mechanisms which means they can find it difficult to form relationships, and can have problems managing their emotions or behaviour. The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) provides financial assistance to pay for support including some essential therapeutic services.

Adoption Support Fund

The adoption support fund (ASF) provides funds to local authorities (LAs) and regional adoption agencies (RAAs) to pay for essential therapeutic services for eligible adoptive families. Following an assessment by a social worker in the post adoption team Adopt London can apply for therapeutic funding from the Adoption Support Fund. .

The majority of applications to the fund fall within these limits. In exceptional cases, where there is an urgent need for higher cost support, LAs or RAAs are asked to match-fund applications.

For more information please click on the link, or speak to one of our dedicated support staff that will be able to listen and guide you through the application process.

Funding eligibility

To be eligible for funding, LAs and RAAs must apply to the ASF within 3 months of assessing a family’s support needs. The funding application must be made before therapy starts.

The ASF is available for children up to and including the age of 21, or 25 for children with an education, health and care (EHC) plan, who:

  • are living (placed) with a family in England while waiting for adoption
  • were adopted from local authority care in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and live in England
  • were adopted from abroad and live in England with a recognised adoption status
  • were in care immediately before a SGO was made
  • left care under a special guardianship order which subsequently was changed to an adoption order, or vice versa
  • Left care under a child arrangement order (CAO) to enable the assessment of a potential special guardian, while the CAO is in force. They remain eligible if a SGO is subsequently made

Maximum funding allocations for each child

The ASF has 2 fair access limits:

  • £2,500 per child per year for specialist assessment
  • £5,000 per child per year for therapy

The majority of applications to the fund fall within these limits. In exceptional cases, where there is an urgent need for higher cost support, LAs or RAAs are asked to match-fund applications.

Criteria for matched funding:

  • a high risk of adoption breakdown without high cost support
  • LAs and RAAs dealing with an unusually high number of complex cases that they cannot afford to fund without additional support from the ASF
  • additional funding would help to progress hard to place adoptions
  • a lack of available, affordable therapeutic support means higher cost provision is required

The ASF can fund up to 50% of the amount above the fair access limits, up to a maximum of £30,000 including the fair access limits.

How families access ASF support

The LA or RAA that places a child with a family is responsible for assessing that family’s support needs for 3 years after the order is made. After 3 years, the responsibility lies with the LA or RAA where the family lives, if they have moved.

Families apply to the relevant LA or RAA, which will assess their needs.

LAs and RAAs will:

  • assess the family and consider if therapeutic support is needed
  • decide on the type required and if it is eligible for payments from the ASF
  • apply directly to the ASF
  • purchase the support from their own list of approved suppliers when the ASF approves funding

Who provides the service?

Please apply to your Local RAA for assessment. Our Boroughs are: Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Brent, Camden, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Hammersmith & Fulham, Haringey, Havering, Hounslow, Islington, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Richmond, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets and Wandsworth.

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