Following an adoption as you begin the next chapter in your life you may wonder what’s next. Some families may want little or no involvement, but for others the idea of going it alone may seem daunting. However through our dedicated adoption support team and partner agencies we are able to offer a comprehensive package of support, so you can choose what services you want to access and when. Support can be accessed at any point until your child is 18 and in some cases beyond.
As an adopter for Sefton you would have access to support listed below to assist with the needs of your child and your family unit. These needs are reviewed regularly for those choose to access the support. For Sefton adopters our doors are open to review your needs and assess what support we can offer.
When a child is first placed with you we give you a one off ‘Settling in Grant’ to help towards the cost of moving a child into your family.
In some circumstances financial allowances maybe available depending upon your personal circumstances and the needs of the child or children you’re adopting. For more information speak with a member of the adoption team.
Sefton has a Welfare Rights Team who can offer free and confidential advice. You can contact the team on 0151 934 3660.
Adoption Support Fund
The government has introduced a new Adoption Support Fund (ASF) This fund enables adoptive parents to apply for additional help and support for their family. It is designed to ensure easy access to specialist therapeutic services, such as play and music therapy, intensive family support, and therapeutic life story work amongst others.
Find out more about accessing the fund who is eligible and what supports available.
A monthly Adoption Support Fund newsletter was launched in November 2015 to bring you news, views and information that should help make clear what is available to you. Sign up to the ASF Newsletter.
Adopters Support Groups
We run two types of support groups for adoptive parents.
Informal support “drop in session” run monthly and are a great way to meet other adopters and share your experiences or seek advice from people who have been through it.
Themed adoption support groups are run at regular intervals throughout the year and cover topics pertinent to adoption.
We commission the services of the independent adoption support agency PAC-UK. This allows Sefton residents affected by adoption to gain independent support, advice and guidance free of charge. They also offer intermediary services for adopted adults and birth families.
To see what services PAC-UK offer visit their website or contact them on 0113 230 2100.
We offer extensive training both prior to the adoption and following an Adoption Order being granted. Some of our most popular courses include “Communicating with children” and “Attachment”. We also offer access to After Adoptions highly recommended Safe Base Parenting Programme. This covers areas such as, child development, attachment theory and the impact of trauma and loss. Safe Base helps both parents and children to build a stronger relationship and a brighter future.
Training is constantly being evaluated and new courses added when training needs are identified.
You will be kept regularly informed of any training/ development courses on offer.
You can view training currently offered in our Fostering and Adoption Training Calendar for 2017.
Membership of Adoption UK
All approved adopters receive a year’s membership to Adoption UK. This is a national independent support agency that is managed and staffed by adoptive parents. They offer a wealth of adoption support services, and development and training.
Support for contact
We run a confidential letterbox exchange which allows adopters, adopted children and birth relatives to stay in touch.
We also offer information and guidance to adopters in respect of contact issues both indirect (Letterbox) and direct, including agreements, facilitation and supervision.
Placement Support Workers
Our dedicated team of placement support workers work directly with families to ensure that the transition from a fostering to adoptive placement is as smooth as possible and they’re there to help with any bumps on the way!
They also run our Children’s Activity Days for groups of adopted children age 9 and over which take place during school holidays. Previous activities have included ice skating and water sports. These sessions give adopted children opportunities to meet each other and share experiences.
Respite residential activity weekends are available, following an assessment of need.
Life Books are created for all children placed for adoption. These are given to adopters and provide a platform to begin the ‘telling process’. It gives a child centred explanation of their family history and assists adopters’ in promoting the child’s genetic identity essential for lifelong emotional security.
We produce a newsletter to keep you up to date about services, legislation, new practices, forthcoming events and all things relating to adoption.
Family Fun Days
Activity days provide a fun opportunity for adoptive parents and children to meet other adoptive families’ swap stories and build support networks. Two of our most popular events are the Summer Picnic and Christmas party.
The adoption support service is ever evolving and developing to meet the needs of our adoptive families.
If you want more information about any of the support offered contact us on 0151 934 4520.