Skip to main content

Evaluation of the Adoption Support Fund: second follow up survey of families

Report | December 2022

This report is part of 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. The second report included 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 third report explored findings from the second (wave 2) survey , which was completed between March 2020 and March 2021. At that point, 783 of the 1,008 parents and carers who had originally completed the baseline survey had also completed a wave 2 survey.

This report explores findings from the third and final wave of the longitudinal survey with parents and carers who, in addition to a baseline and first follow up (wave 2) survey, were asked to complete a third (wave 3) survey at 6 months after they had completed wave 2. The wave 3 survey was shorter than the other surveys and focused almost exclusively on measures of distance travelled for the child and family and repeat standardised measures of child and family wellbeing. A total of 681 parents and carers (68% of those who participated in a baseline survey) completed a wave 3 survey.

Key findings include:

  • For many school-aged children and for boys in particular, improvements in their mental health by the end of ASF-funded support were mostly
    sustained or further extended at the 6 month follow up.
  • A high proportion (79%) of parents and carers agreed or strongly
    agreed that receiving ASF support had helped their child.
  • Parents and carers appeared to have benefitted from ASF-funded support, and the findings suggest that these benefits may be linked with the sustainability of impact on the child and family over time.
  • There was a statistically significant improvement in the extent to which parents and carers thought that their main aim of the therapeutic support was met.
  • Overall, a strong theme from the findings was that modest, cumulative improvements rather than those of a more dramatic nature should be expected from therapeutic support for these cohorts of children.
Professor Katy Burch, Assistant Director
Professor Katy Burch, Assistant Director

Contact the author