Adoption support is a service that offers advice, guidance and support to adoptive families.
The Adoption Service has two dedicated social workers who can offer specialist advice and support on adoption support issues. They have a wide range of experience working with children and families. All adopters are provided with a copy of Walsall’s Adoption Passport, which identifies the support services on offer. Through its partnership arrangements, Adoption in the Black Country offer training to adopters on adoption support related issues. Walsall is also making applications to the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) where it is clear following an adoption support assessment that therapeutic intervention is required.
Am I entitled to this service?
Some children need a lot of help in their early years and others may need help as they go through adolescence. As an adoptive parent(s) you may find that you need advice and support at different stages of your child’s development.
You may be entitled to some support. To have an assessment of your needs, you must meet the following criteria:
- For the first three years following the granting of an adoption order you can approach the local authority that placed your child with you for support. Once this three years has elapsed you must approach the local authority in which you live to request an assessment of your adoption support needs.
What can we offer?
Children adopted from care can have on-going needs, therefore you and your child may benefit from support. Our Adoption Support Service can be contacted on 0300 555 2834
We work with local agencies that can help with various issues, including educational, financial, social and psychological needs. We can help parents on parenting issues that can arise when living with an adopted child and can also offer therapeutic work with children and young people.
It may be simply that you have a query regarding adoption issues that can be dealt with just by calling us. For other issues, an Adoption Support Social Worker may visit you and your family to develop an Adoption Support Plan with you. We can also put you in contact with National and Local Support Groups.
We send out a newsletter to all of our approved adopters, which contains useful information on adoption issues and events which provide an opportunity for adopters to share and discuss their experiences. Every year adopters in Walsall arrange two family days and all adoptive families and children are invited.
Support for your child
Children adopted from care have priority access to schools, which means that your child should be able to attend which school you think best meets their needs. More Information from the GOV.UK site
From September 2014, adopted children are entitled to free early education from the age of two. More Information
If your child needs extra support you can ask Walsall to assess their need for adoption support services. These services include:
- Counselling support and information.
- Help with behavioural, attachment or other issues.
- Financial support.
- Support with contact.
- Opportunities to meet up with other adoptive families.
- Training opportunities to help adopters meet the needs of their children.
- Help in the event of an adoption breakdown.
Access to these services depends on individual circumstances but you are able to request an assessment at any time following an adoption.
Support for you
Many adopters are entitled to adoption leave when their child is placed with them. For UK adoptions this can start up to 14 days prior to start of the placement. More Information
Adopters may be assessed as in need of priority for council housing. If you are living in council housing, claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit whilst waiting for a child to move in, you can also apply for Discretionary Housing Payments so that you are not penalized` financially if you have an empty spare room. More Information
As adopters you are entitled to a summary of your child’s medical history from the placing Local Authority’s medical advisor before your child is placed with you. You are also entitled to a ‘Life Story Book’ to help your child understand their early life experiences.
If you would like more information or advice about adoption support services you can also contact any of the following agencies:
How do I access help?
This is a self referral service and you can contact the Adoption Support Social Workers by telephone or email for an initial discussion:
Telephone: 0300 555 2834
ABC Social Networks