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Adoption support

 
Three smiling children

We're committed to providing a high level of support to all of our potential and successful adopters, both before and after you adopt. This includes the following:

Before adoption

  • Your own adoption social worker to provide advice and assistance throughout the whole process.
  • The opportunity to have contact with experienced adopters and support groups through the council, independent or external providers.
  • Training courses to prepare you to become an adopter.
  • An adoption duty social worker available Monday to Friday, should your own worker not be available. 

After adoption

  • A dedicated team to help if the child or children experience difficulties after being adopted.

These support services may include:

  • counselling, information and advice,
  • help with behavioural, attachment and other problems,
  • financial support in certain circumstances,
  • help with contact between an adopted child and his or her birth family,
  • meetings and events to enable groups of adopters and adoptive children to get together,
  • training to help adopters to meet the needs of their adoptive child,
  • short breaks for an adopted child with another carer, or
  • help if an adoption breaks down.

Access to these services depends on your circumstances, but you can ask for an assessment at any time, no matter how long after the adoption. Who completes the assessment may depend on how long it is since the adoption and where you live but we would be able to advise you about this.

The Adoption Support Fund

This is a fund, available throughout England, which local councils can apply to for additional money, both before and after the adoption order is made. The fund can be used to provide a range of therapeutic services to help adopted children.

How does it work?

  1. Ask your local council for an assessment of adoption support needs. (The local council that places the child with you is responsible for assessing your adoption support needs for three years after the Adoption Order. After that, it becomes the responsibility of the local council where you live.
  2. The local council considers if therapeutic support is needed, the type required and if it is eligible for payments from the fund.
  3. The adopter and the local council will look at what is available.
  4. The local council applies to the Adoption Support Fund on behalf of the adopter.

How do I find out about what support is available?

Every adopter is entitled to an assessment of their adoption support needs. Local councils then provide/arrange support depending on your circumstances. 

For advice or support following adopting with Gateshead Council please contact the Adoption Service Duty Social Worker on 0191 433 6388 or email adoptionandfostering@gateshead.gov.uk.

Office hours are 9am - 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am - 4.30pm on Friday. If you need advice outside of these hours you could speak to the Emergency Duty Team on:

  • Phone: 0191 477 0844
  • Minicom: 0191 478 2009
  • Text: 07899 068 237

(They can help in an emergency when council offices are closed.)  

If you want advice on adoption support you can also contact one of the many adoption support organisations including:

Adoption UK or call 0844 848 7900 (Monday to Friday – 10am to 4pm)

Coram BAAF-Adoption and Fostering Academy or call 0300 222 5775 (Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm)

First4Adoption or call 0300 222 0022

After Adoption or call 0800 056 8578 / 0101 438 7980

Contact us

Adoption Team
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Gateshead
NE8 1HH

Phone 0191 4336388
Fax 0191 4336396
Email adoptionandfostering@gateshead.gov.uk