Support and training
The arrival of a new child is a time of significant change for your whole family and you will usually be required to have a period of time at home when a child is first placed with you. This time spent with the child will allow you to get to know each other and start to build a trusting relationship and encourage emotional bonds to develop. If you are employed, you should be eligible to take statutory adoption leave and pay; you can find out more information about this by visiting www.gov.uk/adoption-pay-leave
As part of the matching process, we will discuss and agree an adoption support plan for your child, which will be tailored to their individual needs. A range of training courses for adopters to help with parenting an adopted child may also be provided. TACT have a clinical psychology service which can offer support and advice throughout your child’s childhood.
We find that adopters may not need adoption services immediately after adoption, but it’s good to know that the team is there whenever the need arises.
As an adoptive parent you are also able to request an assessment for adoption support services which could include:
- Advice, information and counselling – or referral to more specialist resources
- Training – on behavioural, attachment issues, resolutions and therapeutic parenting techniques
- Therapeutic services – for the adopted child
- Financial support – There is no automatic entitlement to financial support, but this can be applied for to help with any additional costs of caring for a child, in particular where the child has specific on-going needs. If an allowance is agreed, it is means tested and reviewed annually on the basis of the applicant’s financial circumstances and needs of the child.
- Support groups – events and activity days for adoptive families providing opportunities to meet other adoptive families and accessing support.
Sometimes the best form of support comes from other adopters who will share their knowledge and offer support and advice from their own experience. There are local support groups and regular social activities that you and your children can take part in, where you can meet other adoptive families.
Supporting Contact with Birth Families
We know that positive contact arrangements between an adopted child and their birth family, can enhance a child’s life and we will support you as an adoptive parent to facilitate this. Each child’s situation is considered very carefully to take into account their particular circumstances. It is likely that children will have different contact needs throughout their childhood, including:
The Letterbox Service
In most adoptions, adopters will write to birth family members and vice versa once or twice a year, through the letterbox system. This means that addresses remain confidential and that all parties can receive the help they need to write suitable letters.
In some circumstances children will meet face to face with members of their birth family once adopted. We are there to support this if needed and it can be supervised. We find that many prospective adopters are initially anxious about contact with the birth family and we will look at this in more detail with you, throughout your preparation and assessment.
Support for Adopted Children
When children are adopted into their new family we want them to know that they can get help if they have any questions or worries. We know that being an adopted child may not always be easy and there might be things that they don’t understand or that they would like help with. As such we provide all adopted children with a copy of our children’s guide to adoption, which aims to help to explain their adoption journey in a child friendly way.