Adoption UK is delighted that lifesaving support for adoptive families in England is to be boosted by an extra £5 million injection next year - but the charity warns a long-term commitment is still crucial.

Thousands more adoptive families and special guardians are set to benefit from additional support after it was announced that investment in the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) will be increased from £40m this year, to £45m next year (2020-21).

The government has to date invested nearly £200 million in the ASF since its inception in 2015, helping around 50,000 adoptive families across England.

The fund provides adopted children and their parents with a range of therapeutic support.

Adopted children are among the most complex and vulnerable in society as they have often suffered serious neglect or abuse in their early lives. These children can require intensive therapy and support to help them thrive.

Adoption UK’s chief executive Dr Sue Armstrong Brown said: “We know that the right post adoption support can keep adoptive families together. The ASF is a lifeline for adoptive parents so we're delighted investment will increase by £5 million next year.”

Dr Armstrong Brown believes growing the fund is essential to encourage more adopters to come forward but stressed the government’s next move must be a longer-term commitment to the ASF.

“The fund’s lifespan currently only runs up until March 2021 - we need to see the new government secure the future of the fund until 2030,” she added.

Adoption UK’s Adoption Barometer report, which surveyed about 3,500 families across the UK, was published earlier this year.

It revealed that four in five adopters who accessed support via the fund, said it has had a significant positive impact on both their child and their family situation. And a third of adopters said support they accessed via the fund has helped them to avoid a potential disruption or adoption breakdown.

Adoptive parent Elspeth told how her son Nathan could be a “danger to himself and others”. But Elspeth told how the support her family received through the ASF “completely transformed our lives”. She added: “Nathan is no longer violent or aggressive, he’s like a different child.”

Ruth, another parent, said: “It was incredibly hard to be on the receiving end of our girls’ trauma-fuelled behaviour. But the ASF turned it around for us. Our family has transformed immeasurably.”

Adoption UK will continue to lobby governments to call for parity of provision for adoptive parents across the whole of the UK.

The Department for Education has also provided more than £1 million of funding for RAAs to support adopter recruitment activities in 2020 aimed at finding adoptive families Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) children.