May 5, 2015 12:20 pm
The British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) welcomes the £19.3 million Adoption Support Fund (ASF), which goes live today in England, and announces a range of new services to help social workers and adoptive parents make the most of the funding. BAAF is now calling for this fund to be extended to children under special guardianship and children adopted internationally.
Figures from the Department for Education show that last year 62 per cent of children entered care after suffering abuse or neglect in England. Many of these children are placed for adoption. BAAF has campaigned for the Government to introduce more comprehensive post adoption support to help children recover from their previous experiences and bond with their adoptive families.
We are delighted that the £19.3 million ASF has been allocated to pay for therapeutic services for adopted children. BAAF will be advising social workers on how to implement the fund, and also launching BAAF Therapeutic Services across England to meet the anticipated increased demand.
Throughout June and July BAAF will be co-hosting a series of webinars and workshops to help adoption support workers to make effective and informed applications to the fund on behalf of adopters and their children. This training will also highlight which services are available, and advise on how to appropriately involve the adopter.
BAAF Therapeutic Services will offer a range of therapies including play and filial therapy, creative arts therapy, and systemic therapies such as family therapy. The service will be available to all children in foster, adoptive or special guardianship care who have been referred by their local authorities in England.
Dr John Simmonds OBE, Head of Policy, Research and Development, and member of the Expert Advisory Group for Adoption Support, said:
“BAAF has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of post adoption support, and we’re delighted to see the introduction of the Adoption Support Fund. We will be here every step of the way to support local authorities implement the new funding.
We would now like to see the Adoption Support Fund extended to families who have adopted internationally, and special guardians. There still isn’t funding available for these children to access therapeutic services yet they have often experienced similar trauma to those adopted from care.”
Berni Stringer, BAAF Therapeutic Services manager, said:
“I’m delighted to launch BAAF’s Therapeutic Services across England. We’ve carried out a pilot in the Midlands has shown that skilled, timely therapeutic support can help secure stability for vulnerable children in their adoptive or foster families.”
BAAF will be hosting a series of webinars through June and July on this issue