Mott MacDonald, together with Core Assets and the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF), has been appointed by the Department of Education (DfE) to implement and test the prototype Adoption Support Fund with ten local authorities across England.
In early 2013 the DfE set out proposals to attract more adopters and to improve the support available to adoptive families, which led to the development of the Adoption Support Fund. The trial will provide immediate and sustainable improvement to the assessment of support needs and the provision of appropriate therapeutic support for adoptive families.
Colin Hurst, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “We are extremely proud to lead on the design, testing and implementation of this prototype. The Adoption Support Fund will enable children to benefit from being part of a family and develop a rich social life, good education and bright future, while providing families with access to essential therapy services.”
“Mott MacDonald is a key player in the children’s services sector, leading on a number of other national DfE projects including the Achieving Two-Year Olds and SEND Pathfinder schemes,” Colin added.
Core Assets’ head of social care Andy Gill added: “It has been a real team effort by Mott MacDonald, BAAF, the ten local authorities and Core Assets’ specialists to develop this prototype. The local authorities gave us invaluable feedback which we’ve honed and are now implementing. We believe this is a keystone in adoption reform and will make a real difference to both the adopted child and family. Any further lessons will be incorporated into the national roll-out version next year.”
Meanwhile Jeffrey Coleman, BAAF’s project programme director, said: “Adopters are increasingly aware that accessing adoption support services is key to meeting the challenges of adoptive family life. The prompt availability of support, of the right kind and at the right level, is not something adopters can take for granted. The DfE’s Adoption Support Fund initiative is an important step towards addressing this problem. BAAF is delighted to be contributing to these developments.”
The prototype phase will lead to the ASF being rolled out nationally to all local authorities in 2015.