Adoption support services in Central Bedfordshire

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1 prospects Adoption support services in Central Bedfordshire A great place to live and work. Find us online

2 Adoption support services in Central Bedfordshire Adopting a child can be both rewarding and challenging. Many adoptive families find that at some point their family could benefit from outside advice and support, from people who understand that adopted children and their parents have particular issues to cope with during childhood and beyond. Adoption support services are available to help at these times. Central Bedfordshire Council is an adoption agency. Under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, Adoption Support Regulations (2005) have been introduced that require Local Authorities to meet the needs of people affected by adoption. This includes children and adults who are adopted, adoptive families, birth relatives, step parent adopters and inter-country adopters. Who can ask for adoption support in Central Bedfordshire? Adoptive families who live in Central Bedfordshire Adults and young people placed for adoption by Central Bedfordshire Council Adopted adults who live in Central Bedfordshire who want to access their birth records Birth relatives who live in Central Bedfordshire What can adoption support include? Support for parents Work with children Liaison with schools Regular free or subsidised training and workshop opportunities Newsletters Advice and information about other agencies and signposting to community services, if appropriate Support with contact issues arrangements Contact with other adopters via groups, training, buddying Social events including an annual family day and Christmas party, dads group, mums group, young peoples activities Financial support Intermediary services Access to records Therapeutic services Assessment of Adoption Support Needs You can request an assessment via Central Bedfordshire Council if:

3 You live in Central Bedfordshire but you adopted through another agency and the adoption order was granted over three years ago If you adopted a Central Bedfordshire Council child but live in another Local Authority, we will provide adoption support for three years after the adoption order was granted. After this the Local Authority where you live will be responsible If you adopted from overseas and live in Central Bedfordshire we can give you support If you are an adopted child under the age of 18 years and live in Central Bedfordshire, you can contact us for support. If you are a step-parent family who live in Central Bedfordshire, we can give you support Under the Adoption Support Regulations (2005) you are entitled to ask for an assessment of your adoption support needs. This assessment will be completed by Under the Adoption Support Regulations (2005) you are entitled to ask for an assessment of your adoption support needs. an Adoption Social Worker. Many requests can be dealt with promptly and signposted to an appropriate service for support or advice. Other assessments may be more complex and require more detailed assessment with the involvement of other professionals and/or agencies before the support required can be defined. After assessment the adoption support plan for your child will be updated, detailing the support required. Adoption support services in Central Bedfordshire

4 Please note: Although there is an automatic entitlement for an assessment, there is no automatic entitlement to services. Contact arrangements We have a separate booklet available providing information on adoption letterbox contact. Central Bedfordshire Council mailing list and the newsletter Information about training, workshops and other events: Central Bedfordshire Council offers a programme of workshops and training sessions to all Central Bedfordshire adopters over the course of the year. Central Bedfordshire Council runs an annual Summer BBQ and Christmas event giving adoptive families the opportunity to meet up at social events some families use these events as contact opportunities for siblings. We distribute a newsletter 3 times per year. Two Teddy Bears picnics for under 5 s run in the Summer Holidays. Young people s activities run in some of the school holidays. If you subscribe to our mailing list you will automatically receive invitations to these events and receive our newsletter. Financial support An assessment may identify that some financial support is required depending upon the needs of your child. This may be a one off payment or ongoing regular payments made via an adoption allowance. These are usually time limited payments initially and will be reviewed annually. Central Bedfordshire Council applies a means test for adoption financial support. Adoption allowances are exempt from tax and are disregarded when calculating eligibility for tax credits and welfare benefits. The Adoption Passport; what does it mean? Paid adoption leave at similar rates to maternity and paternity leave Priority access to social housing, and access to additional support to cover a spare room whilst adopters wait for their child to arrive in their new home Priority admission for school places, including academies and free schools

5 A range of adoption support services, including access to counselling, information and advice for both adoptive parents and their children, who may have complex needs The First4adoption website has details of the adoption passport a support guide for adopters. Pupil premium Educational support for adopted children includes the pupil premium after the school have seen confirmation of the adoption. From April 2014, schools in England can receive additional funding through the pupil premium for children adopted from care. The government introduced the pupil premium to give schools extra funding to raise the attainment of disadvantaged pupils from reception to year 11. The initiative applies to children adopted from care on or after 30 December 2005, or that left care under a Special Guardianship Order on or after the same date. Schools can also claim the pupil premium plus for children who left care under a Residence Order on or after 14 October In the 2014 to 2015 financial year, pupil premium will be available for looked-after children who: have been looked after for 1 day or more are adopted leave care under a Special Guardianship Order or a Residence Order Central Bedfordshire Council runs an annual Summer BBQ and Christmas event giving adoptive families the opportunity to meet up at social events some families use these events as contact opportunities for siblings. Adoption support services in Central Bedfordshire

6 Adoption Support Fund An Adoption Support Fund has been created by the government to make adoption support more accessible. It is available to enable adoptive families to have access to therapeutic support services when required. If the Adoption support assessment identifies a need for a therapeutic service such as psychotherapy, art/ play therapy, theraplay etc. and these services cannot be provided by the local CAMHS or community services, Central Bedfordshire Council will identify an appropriate resource to commission this work. Funding will then be applied for via the Adoption Support Fund who usually provide a decision within 5 days of the application. Adopted adults Access to birth records for adopted adults living in Central bedfordshire If you are thinking about accessing your birth records you can contact Central Bedfordshire Council Adoption Service for advice and support. A duty Social Worker is available 8.45am 5pm Monday, Wednesday and Fridays on Telephone: Adopted adults seeking information about their origins and identity can get advice, support and counselling from Central Bedfordshire Council Adoption Service.

7 Access to birth records Adopted adults seeking information about their origins and identity can get advice, support and counselling from Central Bedfordshire Council Adoption Service. In order to access your birth records, you will need to be eighteen years old or over. People adopted before 12 November 1975 If you were adopted before the above date, in order to access information about your birth you can apply to the General Register Office in Southport: General Register Officer Adoptions Section Trafalgar Rd Southport PR8 2HH Phone: Website: Details will be sent through to your local Adoption Service. Information will include a form to apply for your original birth certificate, details of the court that dealt with your adoption, the name of your birth mother and an application for the Adoption Contact Register. A Social Worker will arrange to meet with you to share this information. If you wish, after counselling, it may be possible to get further records about the circumstances of your adoption from the agency that arranged your adoption. This will depend on factors like how long ago the Adoption Order was granted. You will receive advice about continuing your search if you wish to trace your birth family. People adopted between the 13th November 1975 and the 30th December 2005 If you were adopted in this time it is likely that you have already got a copy of your original birth certificate and details of the Adoption Agency Adoption support services in Central Bedfordshire

8 involved in arranging your adoption. However you may still require information from the agency records about the circumstances of your adoption or wish to try and make contact with your birth family. We can offer advice and support regarding this. You still have the right to apply to the Registrar General for information. The General Register Office runs an Adoption Contact Register to link up adopted people and their birth families. If you phone or write to them they will arrange for you to register your wishes with regard to contact People adopted after the 30th December 2005 An adopted person retains the right, on reaching the age of 18, to receive the information needed to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate. However, if you were adopted after the 30th December 2005 you must apply to the appropriate adoption agency for this information rather than to the Registrar General. The agency will share the relevant information they hold with you. If you live a long way from the agency arrangements can be made for the records to be shared with you locally. You will also receive advice about intermediary services and the Adoption Contact Register where appropriate.

9 Vetoes Adopted adults can formally register a wish for no contact on the Adoption Contact Register held by the Registrar General or the adoption agency who arranged the adoption. You may specify the name of the person with whom you wish or do not wish contact. There are two types of veto: Qualified you only wish to be approached in certain circumstances e.g. where important medical information has come to light Absolute there is to be no approach under any circumstances A veto will remain in place until you chose to amend or withdraw it. Vetoes can be altered at anytime if you change your mind. Intermediary Service Adopted adults may wish to make contact with their birth relatives. Research shows that approaches to adopted people and birth relatives are more successful if made through an intermediary. If you are over 18 years and were adopted before 12th November 1975, you may request an intermediary service from Central Bedfordshire Adoption Service or from another agency approved to do so. We are not a searching agency but may be able to assist with tracing your birth relatives and act as an intermediary. We sometimes operate a waiting list for this service. If you have traced a birth relative and would like help approaching them we are able to offer you an intermediary service. We will write to the relative on your behalf asking them to make contact with the agency. Tracing adopted adults Central Bedfordshire Council is not a searching agency but may be able to assist you in tracing and supporting you to make contact with a relative who was adopted. We will work with other Adoption support Agency s, Adoption Agency s, Local Authorities and the GRO to assist your search. You can register your details on the GRO contact register who will advise if the adopted relative is also registered. Adopted children and young people If you are under 18 years, you are entitled to ask for an assessment of your adoption support needs. This could be because you are unhappy with the contact arrangements or you are having difficulties within your adoptive family or wish to discuss something about your adoption. Adoption support services in Central Bedfordshire

10 If the adoptive family do not maintain contact or do not agree to contact you can send letters for your child to the adoption service which will be kept on the child s file. If you want to access your birth records we suggest that you discuss this with your adoptive parents first. When you are 18 years you have the entitlement to see your adoption records. We have a separate leaflet for children and young people where we provide more information for you. Birth relatives Who can ask for support? Birth parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles who have been separated from their relatives through adoption. What kind of support? Support with contact arrangements Adoption support needs assessment Intermediary services Access to counselling If you want contact with your adopted child Most children will be placed for adoption with a plan for contact and you will be asked to sign a contact agreement stating the arrangements for contact.

11 If contact has not been taking place or you did not have a a plan for contact you can contact the Adoption Service who placed your child for adoption and give them the names and DOB of the children with whom you would like contact. A Social Worker will look at the information in the child s adoptions records before making contact with the adoptive parents at their last known address. The welfare and wishes of the child and their adoptive family will be the main consideration in regard to a birth family members request for contact. It may not be possible to make contact with the adoptive family if they have moved or do not reply. Adoption support needs assessment If you are a birth relative you can ask for an assessment of your adoption support needs to consider any contact arrangements with the adopted child or any needs for individual counselling. What can you do if you are not happy with our service or wish to compliment our service? Please contact Customer Relations or the Adoption Team and we will send you information of what you need to do. Adoptive families are not obliged to maintain contact with birth family members unless the court has granted a Contact Order or contact was included in the Placement Order. If the adoptive family do not maintain contact or do not agree to contact you can send letters for your child to the adoption agency which will be kept on the child s file. The child will receive these if he or she decides to access their birth records after the age of 18 years. Adoption support services in Central Bedfordshire

12 Useful contacts Central Bedfordshire Council Adoption Team Telephone: A duty Social Worker is available 8.45am 5pm Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays. Central Bedfordshire Adoption and Fostering Training programme The General Register Offices for England and Wales Adoption contact register O.N.S (adoptions section) The GRO, Smedley Hydro Trafalgar Road, Southport Merseyside, PR8 2HH The GRO for Scotland New register House Edinburgh, EH1 3YT GRO Northern Ireland Oxford House, Chichester Street Belfast, BT1 4HL if calling from outside Northern Ireland) Adoption UK Linden House, 55 The Green South Bar Street, Banbury OX16 9AB Public Record Office and National Archives The National Archives Kew, Richmond Surrey, TW9 4DU First4adoption 48 Mecklenburgh Square London, WC1N 2QA Adoption search and reunion CS605_15

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