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Adoption Support Fund (ASF)

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What is the Adoption Support Fund (ASF)?

The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) is a new fund established to help pay for essential therapy services for adoptive families as and when they need it. It has been set up because many families need some kind of support following adoption and too many have struggled to get the help they need in the past. The ASF will enable adoptive families to access the services they need more easily in future.


Who is eligible for support from the ASF?

The ASF is available for children up to and including the age of 18 (or 25 with an SEN statement) who have been adopted from local authority care in England or adopted from Wales but living in England.


What will the ASF pay for?

The types of services within scope of the ASF are those assessed as being the most needed by adopters but are often not provided:

  • Sensory integration therapy
  • Systemic therapy
  • Filial therapy
  • Psychotherapy Theraplay
  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy
  • Creative therapies (e.g. art, music, drama, play)
  • Specialist clinical assessments where required
  • CAMHS assessment, multidisciplinary assessment including education and health, cognitive and neuropsychological assessment, other mental.
  • Therapeutic parenting training
  • Extensive therapeutic life story work
  • Respite care (where it is part of a therapeutic intervention)

So what will the ASF not pay for?

Local Authorities should provide the following under their adoption support services:

  • Information, advice, guidance and signposting
  • Counselling
  • Opportunities for adoptive parents to interact (e.g. support groups, family days)
  • Mediation of contact with birth families
  • Mediation services when an adoptive family is at risk of disruption
  • Financial support
  • Basic Life story work
  • Short break care where no therapeutic input is provided

The ASF will also not pay for:

  • Support for physical medical conditions
  • Speech and language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other universal health services.
  • Education support
  • Membership of clubs and organisations
  • Legal support
  • Support provided by private sector and third sector organisations that are not OFSTED regulated
  • Ex- Local authority (associate) social workers

Who will provide the services?

Local authorities, independent providers (Ofsted registered) and NHS providers (offering services within the scope of the ASF) can all provide services through the ASF.


Find out more

Find out more about the ASF, like how to access the funding and the limitations for the funding.

Find out more


Get involved!

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Do you feel you could parent a child through adoption, if so please contact the Adoption Team.

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