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Review of the Adoption Support Fund COVID-19 Scheme

Report | October 2021

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

The report outlines key findings from a review of the Department for Education’s Adoption Support Fund Covid-19 Scheme. During an early period of the Covid-19 pandemic over 23,000 adopted children, and families and children with a Special Guardianship Order were included.

Findings cover:

  • Introducing block commissioning, a light touch administration system, and an ability to deliver online enabled funded support to ‘reach’ a very wide range of people in a very short time and flexible way
  • The Fund was thought to have stimulated thinking in the sector about the value of providing and marketing a ‘core offer’ of earlier help for families before they reach crisis point
  • In terms of the marketing of support and how it is provided, special guardians and the children in their care are likely to need a different approach to adopted parents and children. They are more likely to be wary of what is offered by local authorities or Regional Adoption Agencies and may prefer support provided by an independent or voluntary sector provider such as Grandparents Plus (now ‘Kinship’)
  • A variety of innovations were developed with the support of this funding, many of which proved highly successful. They included for example: psychologist or therapist-led ‘drop in’ consultations or online brief therapeutic interventions for individual parents or guardians; online peer support; and online webinars and workshops.

For further information on the first and second reports in this series see:

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

Our second 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.