Home England government Multi-million pound boost for new families as adoptions rise

Multi-million pound boost for new families as adoptions rise

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Thousands of vulnerable children in care can find forever homes faster, thanks to a multi-million pound investment to help new adoptive families settle into their new lives.

Since the launch of the government’s National Adoption Strategy released last summer, figures released today illustrate the impact of transformational reforms to the system, strengthening families across the country. The strategy aimed to reduce the length of time children wait in care, and figures show adoptions are on the rise and figures with a 23% increase in the number of families approved to adopt, from 1,930 in September 2020 to 2,370 in September 2021.

The government is investing £160 million over three years to boost this support, remove remaining barriers and reduce delays for thousands of other children still in care, so they can be matched with care more quickly. good family.

Adoptive families will also receive additional support, including cognitive therapy, family support sessions, and activities to help children recover from past traumas like abuse or neglect, helping them settle into their new families and houses.

The total investment includes £144 million for the Government’s Adoption Support Fund to boost support for new and growing adoptive families, which has already helped almost 40,000 adoptive families since 2015.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:

The importance of a loving and stable family cannot be overstated, whatever form it takes. The family is essential in giving children the warmth, background and opportunities they need to succeed in life.

We launched our National Adoption Strategy last summer, and I am truly encouraged to see that it is already having a significant impact on the adoption system across the country, as wait times for children care decline and find the loving homes they need.

Whether investing in the adoption and expansion of our Family Hub network, or reviewing the findings of the upcoming Care Review, my mission is to ensure that family remains at the heart of our policy.

Launched in 2021, the Government’s National Adoption Strategy is improving adoption services in England by implementing better recruitment across the country and removing unnecessary delays, through more training for frontline staff, improving the approval process and funding targeted recruitment campaigns. It has also improved collaboration between regional adoption agencies, virtual school principals and designated teachers, who are using best practices to improve support standards across the country.

The new funding includes £19.5million to strengthen the work of regional adoption agencies, to improve national matching between parents and children and focus on recruiting potential adopters from all communities in order to ensure they are not deterred from the idea of ​​adoption because of their background.

The Ministry of Education has launched its recruitment campaign to find more adoptive parents in 2019, which focuses on prospective parents from black and ethnic minority communities. New data released today shows an increase in the number of approved adopters waiting to be matched with children in care since this campaign began, with over 100 additional ethnic minority adopters approved by the end of September 2021: 590 compared to 450 at the start of late March 2020 – an increase of more than 30%.

Overall, 3,700 children left care under a permanency order between April and September 2021-22 – either through an adoption or a special guardianship order, where a close relative or friend of the family assumes parental responsibility – an increase of 31% compared to the same period last year .

The number of children waiting more than 18 months to be adopted has also decreased, despite the difficulties faced by the care sector during the pandemic.

A study published today shows that boys aged 6 to 18 and girls aged 12 to 18 who were adopted from families benefiting from the Adoption Assistance Fund had their conduct and aggressive behavior improve considerably. The data consists of responses to two surveys; a baseline conducted between November 2018 and February 2020 and a second wave ending in March 2021.

Sarah Johal, National Adoption Strategy Lead, said:

I welcome the new funding for Regional Adoption Agencies that will help us transform the adoption system by bringing together best practices and testing new and innovative approaches to recruitment; corresponding to; early help and adoption support. Our ambition is to ensure that services are provided to the same high quality standards across the country.

Dr Krish Kandiah, Chairman of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Council, said:

I am delighted that the government is investing significant new funds in adoption. We need to make sure that we all work together to help children find the families they need – loving families who will commit to them for life, no matter what trauma they have faced in the past and what whatever their future.

Increasing the Adoption Support Fund will help ensure that adopted children and their families receive all the resources they need so they can thrive together.

Dr Carol Homden CBE, Chief Executive of Coram, said:

It is vitally important for children in need of adoption that they find the loving home they need as soon as possible and that, wherever they live, they have an equal chance of being adopted. access timely, high-quality support to enable them to thrive. This strategic commitment and resources give a welcome boost to this shared goal across the sector and the results will be visible in the lives of children for years to come.

Evaluation reports have also reflected on how post-adoption support, facilitated by the Adoption Support Fund, helps families. Parents and caregivers said they most often accessed it focused on helping them form attachments as a family (“dyadic developmental psychotherapy”), therapeutic “life story” work aimed at supporting open and honest conversations about a child’s story, play therapy for the child, sensory processing therapy for children who struggle with change or transitions, or training for parents such as as nonviolent resistance or building and maintaining attachments.