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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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.

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 help you access 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 and friends. This could include an assessment of their mental health and advice on therapies

The fund can be accessed by any young person who was adopted in England, up to and including the age of 21 years, or 25 years if they have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health and Care Plan.

Full Circle Therapeutic Service

The Full Circle is our therapeutic team, and is part of Children's Social Care. The team provides a post-trauma service for children, young people, their families and carers, and this includes specialist post-adoption support. The age range is up to 18 years old, but this is extended to 25 for those eligible for the Adoption Support Fund.  If you would like to speak to The Full Circle, contact us for further information.

Other support

  • 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: ARC Adoption, an independent adoption organisation, provide us with a free confidential counselling and support service.


Contact us
03000 269 291

The Full Circle
03000 264 730/731