The adoption support fund provides funds to local authorities and regional adoption agencies to pay for essential therapeutic services for eligible adoptive and special guardianship order families.
Only 13% of applications made to the fund are for special guardians, and we want to see this increase.
The adoption support fund (ASF) is available to most children being raised under a Special Guardianship Order (SGO). This also includes children up to and including the age of 21, or 25 with an education, health and care (EHC) plan who were either:
- looked after by the local authority immediately before the SGO was made
- looked after by the local authority immediately before the SGO was made but subsequently changed to an adoption order, or vice versa
- or who were previously looked after but where the adoption, special guardianship, residency or CAO placement has broken down, irrespective of any reconciliation plans
- looked after by the local authority prior to living under a child arrangement order (CAO) to enable the assessment of a potential special guardian. They remain eligible if an SGO is subsequently made.
How do I apply?
The local authority that places the child with you is responsible for applying to the adoption support fund within 3 months of assessing your family’s needs.
As a first step you need to request an assessment for support. It is not always clear who you need to request an assessment from. In some local authorities it will be the Adoption and Permanence Team, in other local authorities it will be the Family and Friends Care Designated Officer. If in doubt, you can ask the social worker who worked with you to get the SGO for further information.
Alternatively, you can request a copy of the local authority’s family and friends care policy. This should detail the name and contact details of a senior manager with overall management responsibility for family and friend carers – most local authority family & friend care policies can also be found on line.
The local authority which places the child with you is responsible for assessing your need for support for up to three years. After that, it becomes the responsibility of the local authority where you live.