Adopters across West Yorkshire are being urged not to miss out on additional support available during the COVID 19 pandemic.
The regional adoption agency for the area, One Adoption West Yorkshire, has secured over £300k additional funding from the COVID 19 Adoption Support Fund, announced by the government in April.
The Adoption Support Fund was extended earlier this year to pay for different types of therapeutic support for families whose adopted children may have already suffered trauma and be made more anxious owing to the uncertainty of the effects of the virus.
The Fund has been used to commission a variety of support packages for adoptive families and special guardians in the region. Including free membership to Adoption UK, the leading support network providing a voice for adopters in the UK.
Sarah Johal, head of One Adoption West Yorkshire said:
“We know that many families are struggling at this time so we are delighted that we have been able to secure this additional funding to support families across the region.
“We are really keen that as many adopters and prospective adopters take up the offer for the free membership to Adoption UK as possible. By taking up this membership they will be joining a thriving community of thousands of others at all stages of their adoption journey right across the UK. As well as being able to connect with others who share their experiences, they can also access a huge range of benefits.”
Adoption UK members can connect with an active network of community groups (currently taking place virtually) and regular online webinars on a host of subjects from music therapy to parenting during a pandemic. They are also able to access numerous online resources which are invaluable to many adoptive families.
In addition to the Adoption UK membership One Adoption West Yorkshire has also been able to secure membership packages for the National Association of Therapeutic Parents, which offers online resources, training, and webinars, access to a member only Facebook group and hotline, discounted access to training, and a Therapeutic Parenting toolkit.
The agency has also secured funding to provide therapeutic support and counselling for parents; relationship counselling through Relate and; specialist support with child to parent violence and aggression in the form of online groups and more tailored packages of support.
Special Guardians living in West Yorkshire are also now able to access a new service provided by Grandparents Plus called Kinship Response. The support and advice service, funded by One Adoption West Yorkshire can help Special Guardians who are worried about finances, health issues, self-isolation, mental health, the pressure of home schooling, the effects of a return to school, managing contact with family members or any other issue that COVID19 is making worse.
Sarah Johal added:
“Children who are adopted or with a Special Guardian have often had a very difficult start to life and bring with them underlying trauma, which can be exacerbated in stressful situations, like the one we are all going through now. This is why this additional support is so important at this time, so we can help our families access the support they need, whether it is help with child to parent violence, therapeutic support to help with attachment difficulties or relationship counselling for parents.”
Councillor Fiona Venner, Chair of the West Yorkshire Adoption Joint Committee, said:
“During this crisis, it is more important than ever that special guardians and adoptive families receive all the support they need, so it is fantastic that this additional provision is on offer.
“It’s vital that we raise awareness of the help that is there to support children who may well have had a tough start in life, and help adopters and special guardians to tackle the extra challenges they face.
“I’d encourage all adoptive families and special guardians to make sure they don’t miss out on the full range of support that is available.”
Adopters can visit the One Adoption website, oneadoption.co.uk, for information on how to access the additional support. Special Guardians should contact their local authority special guardianship team or Grandparents Plus to access the provision directly.