We offer support to you, as adoptive parents, in your parenting task to maximise your child’s emotional, social and educational development.
Emotional and behavioural support
- 15 week Therapeutic Parenting course facilitated by a clinical psychologist and supported by staff from Adopt South West.
- Blocks of six-week individual sessions based on Theraplay techniques by trained practitioners from Adopt South West. Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement
- Targeted and time limited individual sessions based on PACE (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity, Empathy) therapeutic parenting strategies techniques by trained practitioners from Adopt South West.
- Adoption Support Fund – funding for therapeutic services to help achieve a range of positive outcomes for you and your family. Workers in Adopt South West are available to assess and advise on what therapeutic services may be the most appropriate to support your family.
Adopt South West can work with adoptive families to complement education-based support. While we are not able to offer direct support to adopters in school, we work with colleagues in education across the region; providing advice on transitions, attachment, trauma and more.
We also offer training to people working in education as well as having meetings with them, to look at the best ways of supporting, children, young people and their adoptive parents.
- Priority access to schools (as well as choosing which school best meets the child’s need). A School Admissions Code came into force on 19 December 2014 which made it a statutory requirement for school admission authorities to give the highest priority to children that were previously in the care of a local authority; this includes adopted children.
- Early Years Pupil Premium –provides extra money to the Early Years Provider for three and four-year-old children, including adopted children. Registering your child could provide up to £300 extra for your child’s Early Years Provider. They can use the funding, in any way they choose, to improve the quality of the early year’s education provided for your child.
- You may be eligible for free early education for your child from the age of two, check these websites to see if you are eligible:
- Virtual School Heads are responsible for promoting the educational achievement of all the children looked after by the local authority, including adopted children. They are responsible for managing pupil premium funding for the children and for allocating it to schools and alternative provision settings (these are places that provide education for children who can’t go to a mainstream school). Virtual School Heads are also responsible for managing the early years pupil premium. They’re in charge of giving the premium to the early years providers that educate looked-after children (including adopted children) who are taking up the free early education entitlement for 3- or 4-year-olds.
- Education psychologists can work with children and young people in education and early years settings. Educational psychologists tackle challenges such as learning difficulties, social and emotional problems, issues around disability as well as more complex developmental disorders. Check with your local authority education department to see if they provide this support.
- Education Plan for Adopted Children has been developed to support children and young people who are adopted (or under Special Guardianship) and is similar to the Personal Education Plan document used for children in care. The main purpose of the Education Plan for Adopted Children is to make schools and other providers aware of the needs of adopted children and to encourage dialogue between parents and schools. It gives a structure to the conversation and ensures that there is collaboration between schools and parents, as well as any other professionals such as the Adoption Support Team. An Education Plan for Adopted Children can only be completed when parents choose to identify their children as adopted. The Education Plan for Adopted Children is voluntary and is not a statutory document, reviews should be agreed between parents and schools and should be according to need. Education Plan for Adopted Children should begin after the last Personal Education Plan when the child leaves care for adoption. Check with your local authority education department to see if they provide this support.
- Children with special educational needs – Local authorities must publish a Local Offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have Special Educational Needs or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. In setting out what they ‘expect to be available’, local authorities should include provision which they believe will actually be available. Contacts in your area are:
- Jargon buster – sometimes, the world of special educational needs feels like it has a language all of its own. Use this jargon buster of the main words and phrases. Some are special educational needs terms but there are also job roles, organisations and services.
- Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS) provide specialist mental health services nationally for young people through the NHS. Local CAMHS contacts are
- Young Minds is a national organisation concerned with the mental health of children and adolescents. It runs an informative website and helpline for parents who are concerned about their children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.
Child’s identity support
- Adopt South West manages all of the indirect exchanges of information (letterbox) between the child, their adoptive families and birth relatives. We have designated workers available to provide support and advice for adopters and birth families on the timing and content of these exchanges.
- We promote and manage some of the direct contact arrangements between a child and their birth family
- Therapeutic Lifestory work for your child and your family is also available through the Adoption Support Fund. If you need any advice or support with any lifestory issues please email please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on 0345 155 1076.
- Adoption leave and pay – to check your eligibility for this when a child is placed with you, please refer to Government adoption pay and leave guidance.
- Discretionary housing payments– may be available while waiting for your child to be placed, for more information please refer to Government housing payments guidance.
- Financial needs assessment – in certain exceptional circumstances your family may need additional financial support for you to care for child[ren], any such payment would be subject to an assessment of need and subject to a financial means assessment. For more information on this, please email email@example.com