Sunday 9 October 2016

The Adoption Support Fund - Thoughts & questions

Firstly,  I'm blogging in no other capacity than being me, my thoughts about the unfolding news in relation to the Adoption Support Fund.

Basically the remainder of the years fund has been rationed out due to unprecedented demand. Good or bad, it's happened and we have to work with what we've got.

People are hurt and worried and understandably so, the hope that they could gain access to therapeutic intervention that they may have fought hard for for years has potentially removed. Having hope removed is perhaps even worse then never having had hope to begin with.

For the last few days my Twitter feed has reflected a range of emotions from a lack of surprise and understandable incredulity at the news to pain, worry and concern. Some families having already being informed by their Post Adoption Teams that applications to the Fund have been stopped, professionals have messaged me to say that they'd been asked to slash their prices to duck under the fair access limit. Thread discussions have reflected the uncertainty that abounds.
On a few occasions I've stepped away from threads 140 characters are just not enough to share thoughts and views, sometimes saying nothing is better.

Like most I'm upset, it will have no impact on us as we've not made an application, regardless the heartache and uncertainty will impact many friends and families and I share their concerns.

Looking to the next financial year the size of the Fund increases. This will help but the question remains how do we try to ensure that the pot is spread fairly and appropriately or if that is even possible.

The cost of some of the therapy has been questioned* and of course as the fund moved into the future my thoughts are around value for money and effectiveness of the therapy has to be a consideration.

As a community we are being asked to air our views and thoughts on the 18th October I'm attending a meeting at the DfE to pass on specific and general views.

So, if you've thoughts, insights and ideas that you'd like to be passed on please share below in comments or on my Facebook Page here.

I've not said a lot but there's more to say, time will allow.

*rightly so, I believe that we need to guard against profiteering.


  1. Value for money... Ten years ago or so we were pursuing a course of threapy which would have cost a whopping £70-80k. We didn't, of course, get it. Now our son is in a residential unit and very specialist school costing probably £250k per year. Could the therapy have prevented that? I don't know. But even beyond that, here was a young lad who was known to be terribly damaged. Had the damage been visibly phsical, I suspect that there would have been no discussion of the costs to do the best possible job to repair that damage.

  2. The situation you describe is ours in the near future if we don't get the therapeutic support just outlined for us after a multidisciplinary assessment, which just 5 days ago looked secure.

  3. Yes, value for money, but in my experience a little fragmented, there seemed to be various teams involved where one contact and support Social Worker may have worked better. So to save costs, review how the teams are organised and do you need so many? I've had contact from Adoption Support Social worker, First response social worker, the counsellor at school and CAMHS for my child, and understandably my child is now telling me that they don't want to speak to another person who appears to care, asks them to 'open up' then they don't see them again. And each contact will need to be funded so maybe some ground to gain there in use of limited funds. I adopted Internationally so the contact aspect isn't relevant, and I can see that this area is one potentially fraught. But I also wonder if there are not many of the issues our adopted children face that many birth children also face and could there not be a combining of resource to cover all our children who are finding life challenging and again make better use of our limited resources? The media is often talking about how unhappy our children (not all) are. I was assessed prior to adoption very thoroughly but once my child was back in the Uk and had been adopted under UK law that was it, I was on my own. It would have been extremely helpful to have training and a better understanding of potential issues my child could face so that I could act in the best way to mitigate adverse impact early on. Instead it had to get bad before I cried out for help and now the route back is so much longer than it needed to have been and my child has had more unhappiness that was needed. Maybe it is different now i adopted 12 years ago.