Support for adoptive families
If you live in Southwark and have adopted a child or young person under 18 years old, there are many types of support offered.
- Phone or email advice
- Twice yearly newsletter
- Referral to and information about a large number of agencies and organisations
- Adoption support services advisor - 0800 952 0707
Contact between adoptive families and birth relatives
- Confidential letterbox system of indirect contact between adopted children and birth relatives
- Support to birth relatives and adopters involved in the letterbox system
- Assisting with direct contact with family members
- Information about workshops
- Support groups for parents and for children aged 11 and over
- Annual adoption party
Come along to a Southwark adopters coffee morning every other Wednesday and one Saturday a month. The group is open to everyone going through the adoption process, and for those already matched with children. These sessions are a great opportunity to chat to other families and get advoce support, and to make new friends. Please email Miranda and Olga at firstname.lastname@example.org to be sent details of venues and times.
- Advice on welfare and benefits
- One off or regular support payments for those identified as having specific needs
- We do not make retrospective payments for expenses already incurred by adopters
Who is eligible for support?
Adoptive parents living in Southwark and their children can apply for an adoption support needs assessment.
You can apply for a needs assessment if:
- Your child was placed by Southwark Council and you live in Southwark
- Your child was placed by Southwark Council, you do not live in Southwark but the adoption order was made less less than three years ago
- Your child was placed by an adoption agency or another local authority more than three years ago (if it was less than three years ago, you should approach that local authority for adoption support)
- You live in Southwark and you are a birth relative of an adopted child or adult, you can apply in relation to contact issues
- You live in Southwark and you adopted your child through inter country adoption
Any assessment of need follows the same standards and framework for all other 'children in need'.
This is defined by central government, but is adapted to take into account the special circumstances of adopted children. Many requests for advice and support will not need a full assessment and can usually be dealt with quickly. More complex needs may take longer to assess however will fully involve and inform you throughout the process.
Pupil Premium: Was your adopted child formally a 'looked after child' and adopted on or after 30 December 2005?
From April 2014, schools in England can receive the Pupil Premium for children adopted from care, or who left care under a Special Guardianship Order on or after 30 December 2005. Schools can also claim the Pupil Premium for children who left care under a Residence Order on or after 14 October 1991.
The Pupil Premium is to help schools raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and close the gap with their peers. It is paid to schools in respect of disadvantaged pupils in Reception to Year 11. The Government has extended the coverage of the Pupil Premium in recognition of the traumatic experiences many adopted children have endured in their early lives and a realisation that their needs do not change overnight.
To enable your child’s school to claim the Pupil Premium, you will need to inform the school about your child and provide supporting evidence, for example, show the school the original Adoption (Court) Order. You will need to self-declare before 16 January 2014 which is the date schools complete the annual School Census. This will then trigger the payment of the Pupil Premium to the school from April 2014.