All children placed for adoption in the UK have an adoption support plan at the point of placement. Children and adoptive parents have a right to this assessment. This can be reviewed at any time at the request of the adopters and/or the child. Realistically, any support plan will need to be reviewed; no child’s needs for the duration of their childhood can be predicated at the start. As families grow together parents get to know their children and come to understand their needs in more depth and become clearer about what they may need help with.
For the first 3 years after the adoption order adoptive parents and young people can contact the adoption team in the agency who placed the child for adoption and request a further ‘assessment of adoption support need’. If new needs arise after 3 years post adoption order, adopters and adopted young people can apply to the local authority within which they live (if different) for this assessment to be made. If the child has lived with you for more than three years then contact your own local authority to find out what support services might be available in your area.
Each local authority has an Adoption Support Services Adviser (ASSA) who has a responsibility for the services provided by that Local Authority. In the first instance, you should approach the Adoption Support Team or Adoption Team in your Local Authority. The Local Authority have a legal responsibility to carry out this assessment and talk to you about the help you think you need to meet your family’s needs. You may need advice about anything to do with adoption for example; contact, life story work, child development, behaviour, counselling, therapeutic input, educational needs, support groups/family days or legal issues. You might need financial support to enable you to meet the child’s needs. The local authority may be able to help you with one conversation and be able to sign post you to relevant services locally or they may need to make a more detailed assessment of need. Part of what they recommend will be if funding from the adoption support fund is required to get you any therapeutic services you need.
If you adopted through a Voluntary Adoption Agency you could approach that agency to discuss what post adoption support services the agency provides that would help you. If necessary, your agency could help you approach your Local Authority if that is appropriate.