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Support for families who adopt a child


Adoption is a lifetime commitment but you're not on your own. Find out what help is available to your family after adoption.

  • Childcare costs: Free early years education places for two year olds - help with childcare costs
  • Schools places: Priority access to a school which is suitable for them - school admission for adopted children.
  • Pupil premium: Pupil Premium allows schools to access additional funding to help them support adopted children.
  • Pay and leaveAdoption pay and leave is available when your child first comes to live with you. Check with your employer for their individual policy. 
  • Housing: If you live in social housing and claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, you may be entitled to priority housing. Contact your local housing service for advice and information.  
  • 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.
  • 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) .
  • Health: Medical advisers and clinical psychologists are on hand to advise on your child's health and wellbeing.
  • 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.
  • Health Behaviour: Social services, health, education and other professionals are available to support you with any behavioural issues your child may have. 
  • 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.
  • Counselling: 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.

Other support

Adoption Support Fund (ASF)

Some adopted children can struggle to cope with their past and families need support to help them with this. The ASF can provide for a range of services to help your adopted child enjoy family life. 

The ASF can help pay for therapeutic support to help children build relationships with their family, friends or teachers. This could include an assessment of their mental health and advice on therapies

Any young person who was adopted in England. Young people must be 18 years and under, or 25 years if they have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health and Care Plan. 

Full Circle Therapeutic Service

Full Circle works with young people who've suffered trauma in their early childhood. It offers consultations and support to young people, and foster carers. Your social worker can make a referral to Full Circle for you. If you would like to speak to Full Circle for advice or support, you can contact their duty team by telephone on 01740 664 002.

Contact us
Adoption
03000 269 400
Our address is:
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • Spectrum 8
  • Spectrum Business Park
  • Seaham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • SR7 7TT
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