Grandparents Plus responds to the £12 million increase in funding for the Adoption Support Fund:

Grandparents Plus welcomes the announcement of additional funding for the Adoption Support Fund. Since the Fund was opened to families of children who’ve left care under a special guardianship order, many kinship carers have benefitted greatly from the training as well as the therapeutic support it offers their children. This funding will ensure that many more families will have that chance.

Children who are adopted and brought up by special guardians share similar experiences of early trauma and abuse. However, special guardianship brings unique challenges, not least managing family relationships and contact between children and their parents. The extension of the Fund provides an excellent opportunity to assess how well the Fund is working for these families. Our latest survey showed a low awareness of the Fund among special guardians, and a recent response to a parliamentary question revealed the huge variation in numbers of successful applications on behalf of special guardians across the country. Equally, the limitation to previously looked after children currently excludes thousands more families who desperately need support, but stepped in before a care order was made.

We’re hopeful that the Government’s commitment to supporting carers raising vulnerable children extends to addressing these concerns, and look forward to working with the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board to ensure the voices of special guardians are heard at all levels.