- / Procedures
- / Children living away from home
- / Adoption
- / Placing children with adopters
- / Adoption Allowances
Adoption allowances may be payable to adopters to ensure that the child's needs are met.
- Financial support is intended to supplement existing means of support available to adoptive parents and the child or children being adopted.
- Adopters must be given advice of entitlements to benefits and allowances, and these along with any other income, should be taken into account when considering whether to provide financial support. Adoptive families are required to apply for all Benefits to which they may be entitled, and to provide the Dept with the outcome of their claim,before making an application for financial support,
- Adoption allowances are payable only to an adoptive parent and only where:
- it is necessary to ensure that adoptive parents can look after a child, or continue to look after a child
- Where the child needs special care which requires a greater expenditure of resources by reason of illness, disability, emotional or behavioural difficulties or the continuing consequences of neglect - and the child's condition is serious and long-term;
- Where it is necessary for HSSD to make any special arrangements to facilitate the placement or the adoption by reason of the age or ethnic origin of the child or the desirability of the child being placed with siblings or a child with whom he/she has previously shared a home;
- Where such support is to meet the recurring costs of travel for visits for the child to members of the birth family/significant others
- Where HSSD considers it appropriate to contribute towards expenditure on legal costs, including Court fees (in cases where the adoption is supported by the Department), or expenses associated with the child's introduction to adoptive parents or expenditure on accommodating the child (e.g. adaptations to the home, furniture, clothing or transport).
- Adoption allowances are means tested and are reviewed on an annual basis.
- A financial declaration form giving full financial details must be completed by the prospective adopters and documentary evidence should be provided to verify the information.
- Adoption allowances are calculated using the DfES Adoption Allowance framework.
- In determining the amount of an allowance, the Dept shall take into account:
- The financial resources available to the adopters including any financial benefit that would be available in respect of the child when adopted
- The amount required by the adopters in respect of their reasonable outgoings and commitments
- The financial needs and resources of the child
- Requests for financial support will be considered within the Department by the Adoption & Fostering Team Manager. Where adopters are dissatisfied with the decision made by the Team Manager, they are able to make representations in writing within 28 days, to the Service Manager for Corporate Parenting, whose decision is final.
- Annual Reviews, and a decision about whether an Adoption Allowance continues to be paid and at what level, will be undertaken by the Fostering and Adoption Team Manager. Where adoptive parents are dissatisfied with the decision, they are able to make representations in writing, within 28 days, to the Service Manager for Corporate Parenting, whose decision is final.
- The Department may vary or suspend payment of the Allowance, if, as a result of a Review, it considers that the adopters' need for it has changed or ceased since the amount of the allowance was determined.
- Where the adopters fail to supply the Dept with an annual letter or copies of the required information, the Dept may deem the adopters' need for an allowance to have ceased until such time as the statement is provided.
Termination of Payment The Dept shall terminate payment of an allowance when:
- the child ceases to have a home with the adopters or one of them
- the child ceases full time education and commences employment or qualifies for a place on an approved training scheme
- the child is entitled to supplementary benefit or unemployment benefit in his or her own right
- the child reaches the age of 18 years, unless (s)he continues in full time education, when it may continue until the age of 21 years, as long as (s)he continues in full time education
- any period agreed between the Dept and the adopters for the payment of an allowance expires.
|Task||Responsible Officer||Record required||Timescale|
|Any request for financial support can either be considered within the Adoption Placement Plan at the matching stage or at any other stage pre the making of an adoption order.||Child's social worker and fostering and adoption social worker.||Adoption Placement Plan or at any other stage.|
|Send Financial Declaration Assessment Form to prospective adopters.||Child's social worker/Fostering and Adoption Social Worker||Prospective adopters/adopters to complete Financial Declaration Assessment Form and provide documentary evidence||As soon as in principle agreement has been made|
|Applicants notified of decision in writing.||Adoption & Fostering Team manager||Copy of notification letter on file||As soon as decision has been made.|
|Financial support to be reviewed on an annual basis||Fostering and Adoption Team manager||Change of circumstance will warrant a new financial declaration assessment form to be completed by the prospective adopters/adopters||All changes of circumstance must be notified to the Adoption & Fostering Team Manager in writing.|
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