The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) will no longer fund travel time payments to therapists for applications made on or after 1 June 2022. The intention is that this will mean more money to be spent directly on supporting adopted people and their families with vital therapy. The ASF will continue to pay therapists’ travel costs e.g., mileage and train fares, where necessary. It will also continue to meet these travel costs for families where necessary.

This follows a brief period of consultation with the sector, including feedback from the adoption community shared by Adoption UK. Thank you to all who submitted responses.

Adoption UK support the government’s broad objective to maximise the amount of support provided through the Adoption Support Fund, particularly given the increased demand. However, many of you have raised concerns this could cause problems for those who have a need for mobile therapy, with therapists arguing it will not be cost-effective for them to travel.

Adoption UK’s Equal Chance position extends to all who require access to therapy. We are calling for an equal chance for all:

  • irrespective of postcode
  • irrespective of transport/driving status
  • irrespective of neuro-diversity
  • irrespective of rural location
  • irrespective of disability

Ultimately, this means that some people require a mobile treatment model. We want their circumstances to be accommodated too and will be monitoring the impact of the change closely.

The Department for Education have put together some FAQs which you may find helpful.

Q: What if therapists are unwilling to travel to deliver therapy sessions?

A: Local commissioning arrangements should take this into account and ensure that suitable providers are commissioned. The ASF will continue to provide funding for travel costs e.g. mileage and train fares to support travel including travel costs for families.

Q: What if the family already have a relationship with a provider that currently travels long distances?

A: The change only impacts applications submitted on or after the 01 June 2022. Costs after this time may be funded under local arrangements if necessary.

Q: This is going to impact the income of therapists, what if providers increase their hourly rates?

A: As the commissioner, your local authority or regional adoption agency should work with providers to ensure the services offered meet the needs of your family and provide the best value for money so that you get as much direct therapy delivered within the Fair Access Limit. Local authorities and regional adoption agencies are usually asked to explain increases in hourly rates.

Q: Will this change impact my child’s Fair Access Limit (FAL)?

A: As with now, once an application is approved the amount of funding will be deducted from the available FAL. By making this change, we believe that more of your child’s FAL will be available to pay for direct delivery of therapeutic interventions.

Q: Will you be reviewing the impact of this policy?

A: We continuously monitor the Fund to ensure that it is meeting its aim of providing funding to support eligible children and their families.