Adoption UK welcomes plans published today by the Department for Education to remove the requirement for therapists providing adoption-related services to adults, and for some adoption support service providers, to be Ofsted registered. It is hoped that both measures will increase the support available to adopted people and their families. 

This follows a government consultation earlier in the year after pressure from the sector, including Adoption UK.

Adoption UK’s Adoption Barometer, published in May, highlighted that adult adoptees report a significant lack of available therapists because the registration requirement acts as disincentive to providers. More than half (57%) of adult adoptees reported that counselling, therapeutic services and mental health support services were not available to them. 

Dr Julie Elliott, Clinical Director at Adoption UK said: “The trauma and loss experienced by those who are adopted can last a lifetime.  However, to date there has been very little support for adult adoptees and, understandably, they report feeling abandoned. Today’s announcement is a welcome step in opening up the support available to those who may be struggling with issues surrounding their adoption.”

Dr Elliott continued: “We work with adoptive families every day, which has taught us the vital importance of proper training to deal with specific adoption related issues. Therapists who now want to work with adult adoptees will need the same training. We will work with the sector to ensure that happens.”

Adoption UK also supports proposals to remove the requirement for Adoption Support Service providers to be Ofsted registered, where they are working under contract with an agency. It is hoped this will increase the number of providers available and reduce the burden on providers. 

With three quarters of those responding to our Adoption Barometer this year reporting a constant struggle to get support, any measures that will improve available support services are to be welcomed. However, we urge those responsible to ensure the necessary safeguards and checks are in place when contracting providers, and that all those working with vulnerable children and young people and their families are suitably qualified and experienced.