Adoption groups have welcomed the new regulations on adoption
support services saying they will encourage more people to consider
adoption, writes Derren Hayes.
Published by the government last week, two months later than
originally planned, the regulations are an improvement on those
originally proposed, says Baaf Adoption and Fostering and Adoption
For the first time the regulations place an obligation on
councils to regularly assess adopters, adopted children and birth
relatives of adopted children for their support needs, both
financial and service-related, as a result of a child being
Services could include support groups for adoptive parents and
adoptive children, support for contact arrangements between
adoptive children and birth relatives, therapeutic services and
counselling advice and information.
Under the regulations, which take effect from October, services
can be contracted out to the voluntary and independent sector.
Support plans should be drawn up, including the health needs of the
child, and adoption support service advisers appointed in every
council to direct applicants towards services.
The local authority that places the child will be responsible
for providing services for children – even where adopters
come from outside their area – potentially until they are
18-years-old. However, where agreed, support can be provided by
councils where the family lives.
Councils will also be expected to offer one-off or recurring
payments to contribute towards the additional costs associated with
adopting a child, covering such things as travel expenses to access
services, buying a larger car or adapting a house.