Skip to main content

Evaluation of the Adoption Support Fund: baseline survey of families

Report | March 2021

This report is the second in a series of reports relating to our evaluation of the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) during 2018-2021.

Our first report provided early findings on the experiences and views of a range of local authority and provider stakeholders.

This report includes findings from a ‘baseline’ survey of over 1,000 adoptive parents and Special Guardianship Order carers whose children and families were about to receive therapeutic support. The survey was completed between November 2018 and February 2020, immediately before a package of funded support commenced. Families were asked a range of questions about their experiences of seeking and getting help through the adoption support fund and child and family needs at the time.

The findings provide robust, large-scale evidence that this cohort of children have emotional health and wellbeing needs that are statistically significantly greater than those of children in the general population. In addition:

  • Approximately one half have a form of specialist education plan and one third of those over 11 years have a multi-disciplinary Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), approximately 10 times the rate of children in the overall population.
  • Approximately 13% have a formal ADHD diagnosis, 9% a formal ASD diagnosis and 6% a formal Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder diagnosis.
  • The parents and carers have statistically significantly worse emotional health and wellbeing than other adults in the population.