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Support for our adopters

You will be supported throughout your adoption journey – whether that’s advice from our experienced professionals, formal training to prepare you for adoption, or through support for your child as they grow up and go to school.

There are a range of support services available to you, as an adoptive parent, and to adopted children. Adoption East Midlands can tailor a package of support for you.

The types of support available include:

  • a social worker offering therapeutic parenting advice and a range of other support
  • specialist training and development opportunities
  • help with attachment and behavioural issues
  • education support, advice, signposting to advice on pupil premium (funding) and priority school admissions
  • social activities for you and your family
  • access to an adoption support assessment and links to other services that can help, including applications to the Adoption Support Fund
  • support with the ‘letterbox’ scheme (a written exchange of information between adoptive and birth families, where this is in the best interests of the child)
  • life-story work to help your child understand  their early life
  • signposting to local support groups and other local and national adoption support services.

Contact adoption support services

Support during your journey

During the adoption journey, you will have a dedicated social worker who can offer advice, answer any questions and guide you through the process. You will also attend various training courses and preparation groups to gain a realistic insight on what it takes to become an adoptive parent and develop the confidence and skills you need.

Find out more about the adoption journey including how we can help you through the process.

Support for adoptive families

After you become an adoptive parent, there are various services available to support families which you can access if you wish:

  • adoption support phone line
  • adopter’s training
  • adoption support assessments and plans, including applications to the Adoption Support Fund for therapeutic support
  • therapeutic parenting and therapeutic services for young people including Theraplay, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) and life story work.
  • support with contact and letterbox scheme
  • young people’s programme of events
  • education support and advice

Support after adoption

If you have already adopted with Derby City Council, Nottingham City Council, Derbyshire County Council or Nottinghamshire County Council, your support will continue with the Regional Adoption Agency’s adoption support team - made up of qualified social workers and support staff with specialist adoption experience.

We also offer support to adoptive families across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire who have adopted with another organisation (for example if you have moved into this area), from three years after their adoption order. 

Find out more about the support and advice on offer in our Pathway to Adoption Support [PDF].

People who have been adopted

A range of support and advice is available to people that have been adopted.

Children under 18 can:

  • meet other adopted children and young people at our young people's events
  • talk to the adoption support team about being adopted.

Adults over 18 can:

  • access adoption records
  • receive birth records counselling
  • get advice on tracing birth relatives
  • get advice on intermediary services to contact birth family members.

Birth relatives

Throughout the adoption process support, information and counselling is available to a member of a family where a child has been adopted. 

Counselling and support services will be provided by the local authority in which you live.

Intermediary services for adopted relatives

We provide advice and guidance for adopted adults and birth relatives regarding Intermediary services. If you are seeking support around making contact with an adopted relative or birth family member, please contact the Adoption Support team on the details below who will be able to advise you on local and national services that can offer this support.

Supporting birth parents and people who have been adopted

We can also advise on support for birth parents and people who have been adopted. Please get in touch to find out more.

Other sources of information

You can find out more about adoption and other support that is available from national organisations:

  • Adoption UK: offers support to adopters and prospective adopters
  • Beacon House: resources for children and young people, families and adults who are experiencing mental health difficulties, emotional and behavioural problems and relationship conflict
  • Fostering and Adoption: useful e-learning materials and articles about adoption, from Research in Practice (funded by the Department of Education) 
  • National Association of Therapeutic Parents: support, education and resources for therapeutic parents
  • New Family Social: a self-help membership organisation for LGBT adopters and foster carers
  • People in Harmony: promotes the positive experience of interracial life in Britain and offers support to mixed adoptive families