It is tempting to think that once the adoption is approved and you become a family, that you all skip off in the sunset. Although this can happen, the likelihood is, the child or children you have adopted will display challenging behavior and other issues as a result of past trauma. If this is the case, seeking help is possible with the financial support of a nationwide fund.
Available to children in adoptive care in England and who are referred by their local authority, The Adoption Support Fund was made available from 1st May 2015. It recognizes that adopted children can suffer significant issues that require sometimes intensive and specialist therapy.
Why An Adopted Child May Need Help
Trauma affects people in different ways. For children, understanding how to process bad memories is confusing. They can’t always find the right words or are unsure who to talk to.
Sometimes, they don’t know what the problem is or why they feel the way that they do. They may have come to love their adopted parents very much but seem unable to move forward.
Unable to let go, children can act out. They can be openly defiant and oppositional in their behavior. They can become violent or fail to form attachments, or when they do, these attachments are inappropriate.
Which Therapeutic Interventions Are Known To Work?
Some adoption agencies will offer, through the fund, evidence-based group and individual therapy and support to adopted children.
There is a range of therapies, which are not only proven to work but also deliver results. For example, creative arts therapy, family therapy, and play therapy are all interventions backed with substantial evidence as to their success.
Another therapy used is filial therapy, an intervention developed in the 1960s. It involves ‘special play time’ and is carried out with the adopted child and their caregiver, with the therapist acting as coach.
It is a process that happens over many weeks and stages but is a means by which a child can find the voice he or she needs to express themselves, and for their adopted parent to hear.
The essence of any therapeutic intervention is for an adopted child to understand their own feelings better and to be able to express these feelings in a way that is not only more appropriate but in a way that their parent can understand.
Becoming more confident in being able to express themselves mean that relations within the family are improved. But it isn’t just the family who will notice a difference – children often go on to form better friendships with peers, as well as their teachers and school staff. There is evidence that their capacity to learn also improves too.
Who Is Eligible For Help Under The Adoption Support Fund?
The fund is available for children up to and including the age of 18 who have been adopted from local authority care in England. Children adopted from Wales but who live in England are also eligible.
If the adopted child has a Statement of Special Educational needs or an Education Health & Care Plan, the upper age limit increases to 25 years of age.
Local authorities can submit applications for funding before an Adoption Order, the order that gives parental responsibility to the adoptive parent or parents. By doing this, the package of support can be put in place and continued once the Adoption Order has been made.
The Adoption Support Fund is important for helping children, their siblings and adopted parents to make a success of an adoption, especially as the therapies and intervention supported by the fund are proven to work.
Established in 2014, Adopters for Adoption have matched hundreds of adoptive parents and children, forming readymade families across the UK.
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