1. Do it online
  2. Have Your Say
  3. My Durham

Support for adoptive families

Adoption is a lifetime commitment but you're not on your own. Find out how we can help your family after adoption.

Post adoption support services

Our adoption team offers help and advice to families after an adoption has taken place. When a child comes to live with you, we will support you to ensure they get the best possible start in your new family. If something goes wrong, we don't expect you to cope on your own .

The Adoption Support Passport (ASP) sets out the minimum support that adoptive families can expect from us.

What kind of support is available?

Family and friends

There are training sessions to help your family and friends better understand adoption and how they can support you.

The children

All children receive a  Icon for pdf Children's Guide to Adoption (PDF, 3.5mb) .


If you adopted in England you may be entitled to priority access to schools and you'll also receive free nursery education from the term after your child's second birthday.


Medical advisers and clinical psychologists are on hand to advise on your child's health and wellbeing and there's a therapy service for children who have experienced trauma.

Adoption leave

You may be entitled to adoption leave and pay when your child comes to live with you. Find out more about adoption pay and leave.

Housing benefits

If you get housing benefit or Universal Credit, you may be able to claim a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) while you're waiting for a child to move in so that you don't get penalised for having a spare room.

Growing up - letting children know about their background or life story

It's important that children know about their background and early history so they can understand their identity and the reasons why they were adopted. Our life story coordinator will support you in the best ways to handle this throughout their life.


Social services, health, education and other professionals are available to support you with any behavioural issues your child may have. Our Full Circle therapeutic team specialise in working with young people who have been adopted. The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) can also help families with therapeutic support. 

Keeping in touch with the birth family

In some cases there may be some contact with the birth family, usually in the form of a letter. We can carefully manage this on your behalf.

Social events

Our family fun-days and parties allow adoptive families to share their experiences and provide support for others.

Confidential counselling and support service

PAC-UK, an independent adoption organisation, provide us with a free confidential counselling and support service.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)

We are members of New Family Social, a support group for LGBT adoptive parents.

Contact us
03000 269 400
Our address is:
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • Spectrum 8
  • Spectrum Business Park
  • Seaham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • SR7 7TT
Share this page on Facebook Share this page on Twitter Print this page