Perhaps one of the most important considerations when choosing an adoption agency is understanding the support they are offering to you. Knowing what support you can expect, and what is available through different agencies, is central to your decision and meeting your expectations.
Why is support from an adoption agency necessary?
The adoption process, while (of course) full of hope and potential for a much longed-for child, can also be complicated. It is a long process, involving a myriad of different steps. You’ll likely find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster at times. The paperwork alone can be daunting. You’ll be agreeing to reveal personal information about yourself, which can be difficult and challenging.
This isn’t said to put you off. However, we say it to highlight that you will need support. This support can, of course, come from family and friends to some degree. However, adoption support from an adoption agency comes from a place of knowledge. An adoption agency is supporting and has supported many individuals just like you, on their journey to adoption.
However, the type of adoption support available does vary.
When considering an adoption agency, ask them about the type of support on offer. You should be able to expect a range of support including:
- Support during the application process:
The Adoption Leadership Board’s (ALB) report ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2016 to 2017’ highlighted a large gap between approved adopters per quarter (700) and the number of Adoption Placement Orders granted each quarter (1000). Good adoption agencies are desperate to support those individuals who would make suitable adopters, to help reduce this gap.
Therefore, a good agency will support you with the process itself. You should find the agency willing to give advice and easy to contact with any question you may have.
However, the best agencies will go further. They should ensure you are surrounded by an expert team who are experienced in offering adoption support.
Support in the form of training should be tailored to your needs.
Your chosen adoption agency is in the unique position of being able to put you in touch with other potential adopters going through the process. This can be a vital avenue of support as you are ‘in it together’ celebrating successes and navigating frustrations.
Some networking may well be provided through an agency’s training opportunities. They should offer workshops or get-togethers where networking is an important part of the agenda.
- Post-adoption support:
It’s crucial that you ask your prospective adoption agency about the adoption support they will offer you following your successful adoption. There is a broad range of support available to adoptive families, but you will likely need guidance on how to access this.
You will be entitled to adoption leave and pay. You may also qualify for priority access to council housing.
- You may also need tailored support for your new family, specifically in the form of therapeutic services. It is also beneficial to continue receiving support from your adoption agency throughout the adoption journey as they can help you understand the early life of the child you adopt, and how you can support them, so you all flourish as a family
- Educational support for your child:
There are conditions in place on schools to help support an adopted child. Your child should be given priority access to your choice of school as well as receive Pupil Premium to provide extra funding.
- Adoption Support Services:
Local authorities have a responsibility to support a range of different services for children who are adopted from the care system. This includes help with behavioural difficulties, finances, how to manage contact with birth families, and even short breaks. Knowing how to access this help can be a minefield. A good adoption agency will help you access the right support at the right time.
Feel free to get in touch with us to find out more about the support we offer. You can then use this to compare the support available to you from other agencies.