To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to set the Adoption Support Fund on a stable basis rather than making year-by-year announcements; whether they will consider lifting the cap for individual support above £5,000; and whether they plan to extend their support to respite care and psychological support for parents, on the same basis to that currently provided to foster families.
The Adoption Support Fund provides funds to local authorities and regional adoption agencies to pay for essential therapeutic services for children who have left the care system either through adoption or special guardianship order. Since its launch in 2015, the Adoption Support Fund has approved £168 million to deliver support, such as therapeutic parenting, creative therapies, and specialist assessments to 59,000 families.
The government acted quickly to establish the Adoption Support Fund COVID-19 Scheme in April 2020, and has provided over £6 million to local authorities and regional adoption agencies to support up to 61,000 families to meet needs arising from the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding included support for activities, such as couples counselling, which would normally be outside the scope of the standard Adoption Support Fund.
On 17 July 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the 2020 Comprehensive Spending Review, which will set out the government’s spending plans for the next three years. The Comprehensive Spending Review will be published in the autumn. We will consider future funding, scope and fair access limits for the Adoption Support Fund as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review discussions.