The existing fair access limit of £5,000 per child for therapy accessed through the Adoption Support Fund (ASF), will continue into the next financial year (2017/18), it has been revealed in a letter from the Children’s Minister Edward Timpson.

The limit, which was introduced in October, 2016, requires local authorities to share the costs of support above £5,000, through a match-funding approach. This measure was introduced because demand for support is more than double the level forecast. The cost of additional assessments will now also be claimable.

Its continuation was announced in this letter (dated 25 January 2017) from the Children’s Minister Edward Timpson to Directors of Children’s Services.

Children’s Minister Edward Timpson

Children’s Minister Edward Timpson

PAC-UK's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Sandiford said "I am pleased to see the Minister’s announcement that the Adoption Support Fund has been increased to £28m and the recognition that assessments should be separated from the fair access limit of £5,000 being put on the therapeutic services being delivered. Services provided by the Fund have undoubtedly made a significant difference to many adoptive families and the decision will ensure this continues to be the case for both adoptive families and increasingly Special Guardianship families. However, I do perceive there being a risk that due to the need for match funding for more intensive, therefore costly, interventions that some families will again experience the vagaries of a post code lottery, the impact of which needs monitoring closely."

PAC-UK's Child and Family Service provides specialist therapeutic support for children and families brought together by adoption or other forms of permanent placement. Find out more about the services we offer as well as additional information on how the Adoption Support Fund works here