The Adoption Support Services and Allowances (Scotland) Regulations 2009 provide the framework for the provision of support and allowances. There is a degree of variation in the way the regulations are interpreted by different agencies but all agencies are required to publish information on the details of their adoption allowances scheme. Given the variation, it is particularly important to be clear about arrangements for the provision of support and the payment of allowances at the earliest stage fo the linking process where inter agency placement are being considered.
The regulations give adopters the right to an assessment for adoption support services. Unlike some other parts of the UK, there is no requirement to bring an adoption support plan to the panel when matching adopters and children.
Take into Consideration
However good our assessment process, we know that it is difficult to predict how placements will progress. In considering the adoptive family’s support needs it is useful to recognise:
- Links through the Register are likely to involve more complex children.
- The transition and early stages of placement are vital.
- Families are likely to need support services both before and after legal adoption.
- All the evidence is pointing to the reality that the sooner the legacy of early damage is addressed, the better.
- Families are at a point of high energy at the start of a placement – they need to have a clear plan for how they will address the child’s needs from the beginning.
Finance and adoption allowances are only one part of the range of supports the adoptive family may need. More broadly, it is useful to consider how support can be provided in order to:
- Enhance attachment formation
- Build adopters skills in understanding and managing behavior
- Support contact arrangements and maintain significant existing relationships
- Build the foundation for meeting the long term needs of the child – for example lifestory work and later life letters
- Anticipate the possible need for future therapeutic support