The local authorities - Newcastle, North Yorkshire, Manchester, Leicester City, Solihull, Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Lewisham - will use the £2m to trial the new fund to help adopted children settle into their new families by accessing crucial support services.
The Adoption Support Fund is designed to support adopted children who have suffered from severe cases of neglect and abuse and experience a range of difficulties as a result. These children may have behavourial issues, eating disorders, several mental health needs, trust and attachment issues and substance abuse issues.
Following the pilot, a further £19.3 million will be provided next year to roll out the Adoption Support Fund nationally.
Over time, councils, adoption agencies and other organisations will add money to the fund to provide a constant flow of support services.
Edward Timpson, minister for children and families, who grew up with two adopted brothers, said, ‘I know from my own personal experience that some children adopted from care will have been through terrible ordeals which do not just simply disappear once they have settled with their new families.
‘We want all adoptive families to know help is there for them and their new child every step of the way. The Adoption Support Fund will help ensure the families in most need are able to access crucial services when they need them.’
Dr Carol Homden, chief executive of children’s charity Coram, said, ‘We welcome the Adoption Support Fund and the Government’s commitment to enabling greater numbers of adoptive families to have their support needs met.
‘As the fund is rolled out we look forward to ways of involving Coram’s expertise so that post-adoption support is not only more available and accessible to families, it is also well-evidenced and consistent throughout the country.’
The Adoption Support Fund forms part of a wider package of reforms introduced by the Government through the Children and Families Act 2014, including a faster approval process for prospective adopters.