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Adoption Support Fund

(12 Posts)
PoppyStellar Fri 30-Sep-16 18:22:18

Does anyone have any experience of getting support via the Adoption Support Fund? I know you have to have an assessment of needs from your LA and I've started the process with them but does anyone know how long it takes to get an assessment, what the assessment looks like, and how long it then takes to actually get the support in place? Thanks

MintyLizzy9 Sat 01-Oct-16 13:25:33

Hi

I'm currently on a course that was funded by ASF.

My assessment was a phone call with a SW from the LA responsible to DS, it took a couple of weeks to get the right SW but once I did I was booked into my course within a week.

SW said during that call that they normally have a decision on applications from the fund within a week to ten days.

PoppyStellar Sat 01-Oct-16 14:43:38

That's really helpful (and much quicker than I imagined) thank you

MintyLizzy9 Sat 01-Oct-16 14:57:51

It's unnerving....I was ready for battle grin

crispandcheesesanwichplease Sat 01-Oct-16 15:51:07

Hi OP.

My DD is currently receiving Art Therapy funded by the ASF. We have initially been granted weekly sessions for 6 months and I feel my DD is getting a great deal from it.

Our adoption only happened last year (though DD has been with us for 10 years) and we were then immediately allocated an Adoption Support worker from the LA. The Adoption Support Worker did the assessment from existing info held on file (I assume) and a couple of conversations with me about whether or not I thought some therapeutic input would be helpful and if so what kind of input.

The 'assessment' as such was done within a couple of weeks but then there was a delay of about 6 months in the therapy actually becoming available. However this delay was due to the private company who had been identified to provide the service being slack.

A word of advice - there seem to be a lot of new private companies popping up as providers for ASF support. A member of the organisation identified to work with our daughter cancelled several meetings with us before we finally met. Then my only specific request was for a female therapist. They then offered a male therapist and tried to argue that this could be more helpful than a male one - blah blah blah! When I pointedly refused this and said that if they couldn't provide the service we required ( ie a female worker) then we'd look elsewhere they quickly came up with a female worker.

So, be clear that you get the service you think is right. The ASF has been a hard fight to get up and running. Don't let the providers who are chasing the money determine what is provided rather than what you you think is right for your your child. That money is for your child and your family, not simply to line the pockets of private companies.

PoppyStellar Sat 01-Oct-16 16:57:30

Thanks crispandcheese that's really helpful.

minty I know what you mean about unnerving - if my LA get their act together that efficiently I shall probably keel over in shock grin

user1471467667 Sat 01-Oct-16 21:16:57

I think it partly depends what you want. We have funding for theraputic life story work and DDP. I first approached LA in May last year, it took them until July to come and start the assessment. We had an assessment with a therapist in September, then SW left, some more faffing, applicatio went in January this year, about a month to get approved, its a hefty package so was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing. Finally got started at Easter.

MintyLizzy9 Sun 02-Oct-16 20:25:26

I suspect it was a fluke of efficiency....not getting my hopes up for future dealings! grin

crispandcheesesanwichplease Sun 02-Oct-16 21:04:40

MInty I love that term, 'a fluke of efficiency', it's genius!

My 12 years experience of being on the 'general public' side of soc servs is that everything, EVERYTHING, depends on the particular member of staff allocated to you.

'Fluke of efficiency' describes perfectly the times when, against all the odds, something has been done correctly, helpfully and in a timely way.

PoppyStellar Sun 02-Oct-16 23:01:16

Absolutely. My adoption SW was brilliant and definitely a 'fluke of efficiency' but she was certainly the exception not the norm for this particular LA. Here's hoping I get lucky again this time (I'm ever the optimist!)

Thanks to all of you for the advice, much appreciated.

crispandcheesesanwichplease Tue 04-Oct-16 15:50:34

Best of luck with it Poppy.

PoppyStellar Tue 04-Oct-16 16:53:00

Thank you. I had an initial phone call with a lovely SW within a few days. She was really helpful, explained what she thought it sounded like we needed and it was all looking very positive. They said they could provide some training for me starting in a matter of days and then look at whether theraplay or DDP would be of additional benefit so I was thinking wow, very impressive, what wonderful support etc etc.

Then I had another phone call.

There's no spaces on the course til February (!) and they will come out and do an assessment of needs but they don't know how long that will take due to staff shortages. If I haven't heard within a month I should call back.

I do try and understand as I know there is a dearth of SWs but I'm afraid they got both barrels (politely) about how rubbish that was. I shall clearly have to be on their case every week to get anything moving. Meanwhile DD and me still need some help. It is so so frustrating to ask for help and then have to wait so long to even get the ball rolling. The bit that I don't understand is why they have to come out and do a separate assessment of needs when it feels like we've assessed what would help in the 40 minute phone call we had?

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