Local Authority Support

Local Authority Support: Local authorities provide and fund a range of adoption support services for children adopted from care.

These services can include:

  • counselling, information and advice
  • help with behavioural, attachment and other problems
  • help with contact between an adopted child and his or her birth family
  • meetings and other events to enable groups of adopters and adoptive children to get together
  • training to help adopters to meet the needs of their adoptive child
  • help where an adoption breaks down

All adopters are also entitled to:

  • priority access to schools
  • Pupil Premium – an additional £1900 for state-funded schools to help meet each adopted child’s educational needs.
  • a summary of your child’s health from your Local Authority’s medical adviser
  • a ‘life-story’ book to help your child understand their early life
  • request an assessment of your child’s special educational needs

Every adopter is entitled to advice about these services, and you are entitled to an assessment of your needs at any time. If you have adopted a child in England you may also be entitled to:

All adopters are also entitled to:

  • a summary of your child’s health from your Local Authority’s medical adviser
  • a ‘life-story’ book to help your child understand their early life
  • to request an assessment of your child’s special educational needs.

Adoptive families can ask the borough their child or children came from to assess their need for adoption support services for up to three years after the adoption order was made. They will then help you to contact the local authority where you live for further support.

If your adoption was arranged through a voluntary adoption agency, it is likely they will advise you how best to access services, and from whom.

If you are an adoptive family where the adoption order was made at least three years ago, the local authority where you live will assess your needs for adoption support services.

Adopted children under the age of 18 can also ask for an assessment, for example if they want to talk to someone who is independent about contact arrangements or any other aspect of adoption.

Birth children in adoptive families can also request an assessment for certain services, for example counselling, advice and information.

People who adopt a child who is related to them are also entitled to assessment for counselling, advice and information. If you would like to find out more about adoption support services and are unsure how to start, please contact the Adoption or Adoption Support Team of the Local Authority in which you live and they will be pleased to advise you.