ASF funding boosted by millions of pounds with year-on-year increases
Published: 29.03.16Adoption UK is delighted that the government has announced increased funding for the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) to £21 million this year (2016/17).
The government has set aside £28 million for the fund next year (2017/18) and there will also be further increases to the ASF in every year of this current Parliament.
The Department for Education made the ASF available to adopters throughout England on 1st May, 2015. It brought in £19 million of extra funding to support adoptive parents.
More than £16 million has already been allocated so far to support around 4,700 families, funding specialist assessments, various forms of therapeutic support and short breaks.
Hugh Thornbery, chief executive of Adoption UK, said: “This is fantastic news for all adopters as well as service providers.
“Last year’s funding for the ASF has proved to be a life-line for many adopters struggling to secure the therapeutic support needed for their children. The year-on-year increased funding of the ASF is recognition that there is still more to do, so I’m sure many adopters will be delighted by this announcement. It also allows those providing therapeutic services to plan ahead and expand their offer knowing that the funding has been secured for the longer term.”
The government extended the scope of the fund in January 2016 so families can receive support as soon as adopted children are placed with them.
Over the next four years the government will:
- Extend support to adopted young people up to age 21 (from April 2016)
- Allow children adopted from other countries via inter-country adoptions to use the ASF (from April 2016)
- Extend support to special guardians who care for children who were previously looked after (from April 2016)
The fund was established because many families need some kind of therapeutic support following adoption and too many have struggled to get the help they need in the past.
Mr Thornbery continued: “The experiences of our members who have already benefited from the ASF are testament to how vitally important therapeutic support is. One told us recently ‘We don't like to think what life would be like without it right now!’ Another parent said: ‘Coming to therapy has taken a weight off my shoulders and helps to make things easier at home’.
“From what we know there remains many more families needing support for their adopted children and this funding announcement is good news for them.”
A monthly Adoption Support Fund newsletter was launched in November 2015 to bring news, views and information that should help make clear what is available for all adopters and prospective adopters. The newsletter can be viewed here.
The government announced the increase to the funding of the ASF in their adoption policy paper Adoption A vision for change(see page 33), which was published on 28 March 2016.