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Previously Looked-After Children

Support and advice for previously looked-after children's parents, guardians and schools

Adoption support fund

Adoption support fund (ASF)

Not all parents and guardians are aware that they are eligible to apply for up to £5,000 per annum for each of their children to meet their therapeutic needs and/or the therapeutic needs of their family. An additional £2,500 is available to carry out a needs assessment.  The fund may provide valuable additional support to families and supplement or replace therapeutic interventions that you are paying for as a school. 

Unlike Pupil Premium Plus, adoption support funding is also available to children and young people who have been adopted from outside England and Wales, including overseas, and extends up to the age of 21. If the child or young person concerned has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) they may access the fund until they are 25. 

FAQs about funding for Special Guardians can be found on the Family Rights Group website here

Schools can apply on families' behalf if they have consent from the family to do so. Examples of the forms are at the bottom of this page. 

The charity has clear and comprehensive information about how adoption support funding works.  Their available therapies section of their website offers helpful suggestions for and definitions of therapies that can be paid for with the ASF.  

GOV.UK also has resources for adoption support funding, which you can view here.

Applying for Adoption support funding

Usually, adoptive parents of children in your school apply directly to the local authority for this funding. If they live in Richmond and Kingston, their first point of contact is the new regional adoption agency, Adopt London South. They can call ALS on 0207 525 4491. However, you can also do this on their behalf with their consent. The helpline desk is run by experienced social workers between Tuesday and Friday every week from 10am to 4pm. 

Staff are still home-based so if you leave your name and number on their voicemail, someone will return your call within 24 hours. 

Alternatively you can email:

If a Special Guardian living in Richmond or Kingston would like to apply for Adoption Support funding, please ask them to contact adoption support on 0208 547 4620 or by email at  

For the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, parents can contact the Adopt Thames Valley Permanence support team on 01865 323121 or by email at

Adoption Support Fund (ASF) and how it works
Each application takes around 21 working days to process. It can take longer if  the ASF want additional information and reports to help them make a decision.

There is a Fair Access Limit, each adopted child per financial year (1st April – 31st March) is entitled to the following;

- Up to £2,500 for a Specialist Assessment focusing on the child’s attachment and trauma needs relating to adoption.
- Up to £5,000 for Therapeutic support to meet a child’s identified adoption needs.

The full list of what the ASF will and will not cover can be found here along with some other FAQs-