Adoption Support Services

Newcastle Adoption Service has a post-adoption service which you can use if you:

  • have had a child adopted
  • have adopted a child
  • are an adult who was adopted

You can use this service at any time even if it is long after an adoption was made through Newcastle Social Services. If you want advice or guidance because of the difference adoption has made to your life, we are here to help you.

Our help and advice

We can give you advice on:

  • adopted children who need help understanding what adoption means
  • adoptive parents who want advice about challenges in parenting
  • adopted adults who would like advice about their birth family
  • adopted adults who would like support through a reunion with their birth family
  • birth families whose child has been adopted and want to share their feelings
  • adoptive families and birth families who need help in relation to contact
  • professionals who need advice about after adoption services

What we can offer you

We offer a wide range of training to help adopters and their families to meet the needs of their adoptive child including:

  • Adoption preparation training
  • Solihul Therapeutic parenting training
  • Family and friends training
  • Adding on training for families with children

We also offer:

  • Advice, information and counselling to adoptive families
  • Packages of adoption support including social work support and support to access therapeutic services as needed
  • In some cases, financial support e.g. to help with special care needs, accessing therapeutic resources and transitionary support for former foster parents
  • in certain cases, respite care for an adopted child if agreed as part of a package of support
  • Support groups and social events for adoptive parents and children to meet and talk about things of interest.
  • help with contact arrangements between an adopted child and his or her birth family
  • A confidential post box service between birth and adoptive families
  • Advice on accessing tracing and intermediary services
  • Support, advice and counselling for birth relatives
  • Support to all parties where an adoption breaks down
  • Access to adoption records and support for adopted adults who may want to find out more about their birth families

Adoption and your benefit entitlements

Generally an adopted child is classed as part of a claimant's family and can be included in a benefit claim. But there may be other considerations. For example, if the child is in care or if they have been placed with a family pending adoption. For more information about the benefits that could be available to you visit our Welfare Rights section.

For further advice and information on benefits available to adopters visit: www.gov.uk

Adoption Support Fund

An Adoption Support Fund is being created by the government to make adoption support more accessible. Mainly, it will be available for Local Authorities to request funding for families for therapeutic services and Newcastle City Council is one of the Local Authorities piloting the fund. Click here for further information on the Adoption Support Fund

What is an Assessments of Need?

Access to certain adoption support services depends on your circumstances but you can request an assessment at any time, no matter how long after the adoption. You will be allocated an adoption support social worker who can complete an assessment of need with the family and develop a proposed adoption support plan. You will be able to contribute your views to the proposed plan before any decisions are made about services to be provided.

The local authority that places the child with you is responsible for assessing your adoption support needs for three years after the adoption order has been granted. After three years it becomes the responsibility of the local authority where you live (if different).

Adoption passport: a support guide for adopters

Download Adoption passport: a support guide for adopters (PDF)

Free school places for two year olds

If your are either in the process of adopting or have adopted a two year old child, you could be entitled to 15 hours per week of free early education and childcare for your child at a playgroup, day nursery, childminder or in a nursery school. 

Your child may be entitled to a free two-year-old childcare place from the term after their second birthday until the start of the term after their third birthday.

For example, a child born between:

  • 1 April to 31 August will be eligible for a free place from the start of the Autumn school term (early September) 
  • 1 September to 31 December will be eligible for a free place from the start of the Spring school term (early January)
  • 1 January to 31 March will be eligible for a free place from the start of the Summer school term (early Easter)  

If you are using a Newcastle based provision, click here for more information on free childcare for two year olds.

Local councils have what is known as 'cross boundary' arrangements for this scheme. This means that if you are accessing your provision through in another local authority area, even if you have adopted through Newcastle or are living in the Newcastle area, you should contact the local council where the provision is based for further information about eligibility and how to apply in that area.

Pupil Premium to give schools extra funding

From April 2014, schools in England can receive additional funding through the Pupil Premium for children adopted from care.

The government introduced the pupil premium to give schools extra funding to raise the attainment of 'disadvantaged pupils' from reception to year 11. The initiative applies to children adopted from care on or after 30 December 2005, or that left care under a Special Guardianship Order on or after the same date. Schools can also claim the Pupil Premium Plus for children who left care under a Residence Order on or after 14 October 1991.

In the 2014 to 2015 financial year, pupil premium funding will be £2.5 billion. The premium will rise to £1,900 per pupil for looked-after children who:

  • have been looked after for 1 day or more
  • are adopted
  • leave care under a Special Guardianship Order or a Residence Order

Why adopted children need extra support at school

Adopted children will have experienced loss and many of them will have had traumatic experiences in their early lives.  Their needs do not change overnight and they do not stop being vulnerable just because they are in a loving home. Their experiences in early life can have a lasting impact which can affect the child many years after adoption.

Teachers and schools therefore have a vital role to play in helping these children emotionally, socially and educationally by providing specific support, to raise their attainment and address their wider needs.

How will children placed for adoption and adopted from care access the pupil premium?

This is money for schools to use. Parents and guardians of children who have left the care system through adoption will need to self- declare their child's status to the school where their child is on roll. Parents and guardians will be required to provide evidence to the school, such as their Adoption Order a letter from the local authority that originally looked after the child. The school can then use that information to record on their School Census how many children on their roll were placed for adoption or adopted from care.

How to present sensitive information when declaring to schools?

The information contained on an Adoption Court Order is sensitive and includes information you may not want to share with a school. Parents can photocopy the child's Adoption Order and conceal information about birth parents before they present it to schools.

It is crucial that the school can clearly see the child's adopted name, the date on which they were adopted and the Agency they were originally adopted from.

When is the self-declaration deadline?

In order for schools to receive funding within any financial year i.e. April - March, children will need to be recorded as eligible on the School Census by January of that same year.

Schools will not necessarily be aware that they have adopted children on their roll and so it is important for parents/guardians to come forward, rather than relying on the school to approach them.

Will parents and guardians need to self-declare again? If so, when?

Parents and guardians will need to self-declare again if their child moves school. Parents and guardians will need to ensure that they self-declare to the new school before the next January School Census to ensure that the school can attract the Pupil Premium funding to which it is entitled.

What school types attract the Pupil Premium?

Mainstream schools and non-maintained special schools that record eligible pupils on the January School Census will attract the funding. The Department will contact General Hospital Schools directly and they will attract funding if they have eligible children on roll.

Do pupils placed for adoption or adopted from care in pre-school or in post-16 education get the Pupil Premium?

No. The Pupil Premium is additional funding for schools and they attract it for eligible pupils between Reception and Year 11.

Do schools have to spend the additional funding they are getting on the eligible child?

The Pupil Premium is additional funding given to schools to improve the educational and personal outcomes for pupils who have been adopted from care. It is not intended that the additional funding should be used to back-fill the general school budget nor is it the intention that the funding should be used to support other groups of pupils.

The funding is not ring-fenced and is not for individual children - so the Department would not necessarily expect the school to spend £1900 on every child adopted from care on roll at the school. This is partially because a child may have left the school and new pupils may have joined but also because a school is best placed to determine how the additional funding can be deployed to have the maximum impact. For example, a school may decide to train their staff in recognising and responding to attachment-related issues; or that a particular adopted child needs tailored support that is in excess of the £1900 the school has received. Alternatively, they may decide that a whole class intervention is appropriate and that other pupils that attract the Pupil Premium will benefit from this, alongside other pupils who are not deemed to be disadvantaged.

School accountability for the pupil premium

The pupil premium is paid directly to the schools as the government believe they are best placed to assess what additional provision their pupils need.

Ofsted inspections report on how schools' use of the funding affects the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils.

The government reward schools whose use of the pupil premium has significantly improved the attainment of their disadvantaged pupils with Pupil Premium Awards.