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Adoption Support – Adopters and Adopted Children

Adoption support is defined as including:

  • Assessment of adoption support needs
  • Financial support to adopters, following an assessment of need
  • Priority access to social housing, and access to additional support to cover a spare room whilst adopters wait for their child to arrive in their new home
  • Priority admission for school places, including academies and free schools
  • Services to enable groups of adoptive children and adoptive parents to discuss matters relating to adoption
  • Assistance, including mediation, with contact agreements between adopted children and their birth parents or others with whom they share a significant relationship
  • Therapeutic services for adopted children
  • Assistance to adoptive parents and children to support the adoptive placement and enable it to continue
  • Assistance to adoptive parents and children where a placement disrupts or is at risk of disruption
  • A range of support services, including access to counselling, information and advice for both adoptive parents and their children, who may have complex needs
  • Applications to the Adoption Support Fund as appropriate following an assessment of their adoption support needs


Following the granting of an Adoption Order, adoptive families can approach their Local Authority for an assessment of their adoption support needs until their children are aged 18 or 25 years if they have an Education Health and Care Plan.


Bedford Borough Council Adoption Agency are responsible for undertaking assessments of adoption support needs pre and post order, and families and other professionals are able to refer to the service to request such an assessment by contacting the Adoption Duty Social Worker on 01234 718718.

Bedford Borough Council Adoption Team are able to offer a range of support services which are not dependent upon a formal assessment of adoption support needs including access to support groups, training workshops and regular newsletters – adopters living within Bedford Borough can find out more about these services or ask for their details to be added to the service mailing list by calling the adoption duty social worker – details above.

 Adoption Support Fund

On the 1st May 2015, the government launched the Adoption Support Fund (ASF).  The fund has been established to help to pay for therapeutic services for children up to and including the age of 21 years (or 25 with an Education Health and Care Plan) who have been adopted from Local Authority Care in England or adopted from Wales but living in England.

On 14th January 2016, the government announced that the fund could also be applied for to provide therapeutic support to children from the point at which they are placed with their adoptive families.

In order to access the fund, families will need to have an assessment of their adoption support needs completed by the Local Authority.  If the social worker undertaking the assessment identifies that therapeutic services would be beneficial, they can then make an application to the fund on behalf of the family and, if successful, the fund will release the money to the Local Authority.  From 1st April 2016, the fund was also made available to families who have adopted children from outside England from other UK countries and via inter-country adoption arrangements.

In 2016, the Adoption Support Fund was widened to include access to support for SGO carers and their children.  It is accessible in the same way as for adoptive families.

Further Information about the fund is available via:

Who to contact

Contact Name
Adoption Duty Social Worker

Other Details

Age Bands
11-14 years old
18-25 years old
Parents and carers
15-17 years old
0-4 years old
5-10 years old