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Support for our adopters

We provide a range of support services for adoptive families, adopted adults and birth families, designed to offer the right level of support at the right time throughout your adoption journey.

The types of support available include:

  • information and guidance in our dedicated online support hub
  • experienced social workers on hand to support you as you prepare to become an adoptive parent as well as on-going support for adoptive families
  • a comprehensive training and development programme including opportunities to meet other adopters, from the start of your adoption journey and after you have adopted
  • guidance on Therapeutic Parenting including a therapeutic toolkit which is tailored to your child’s needs throughout their development
  • social activities for you and your family to build peer support networks
  • signposting to local support groups and other local and national adoption support services

Support to become an adoptive parent

From the start of your adoption journey, you will have a dedicated social worker who can offer advice, answer 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.

On-going support for adoptive families

Once you have adopted with us, or if you have previously adopted with Derby City Council, Nottingham City Council, Derbyshire County Council or Nottinghamshire County Council, your support will continue with Adoption East Midlands’ adoption support team made up of qualified and experienced social workers and support staff with specialist adoption experience.

If you have adopted a child from a different local authority area, that local authority will be responsible for assessing your adoption support needs for three years after the adoption order. After three years, that responsibility moves to the local authority for the area in which you live, which will be Adoption East Midlands if you are living in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire.

Find out more about the support available in our Pathway to Adoption Support [Word] which includes:

  • an Adoption Support Information Line (accessible Mon-Fri 10am-4pm) for advice and guidance from experienced social workers and support staff.  Telephone 0115 8044500 or email AdoptionSupport@adoptioneastmidlands.nottscc.gov.uk
  • a consultation service including meeting with a social worker to discuss your child’s behaviour and needs, as a result of early trauma or life experience, and how we can support you
  • education support with signposting to advice on pupil premium (funding) and priority school admissions
  • social activities for you and your family
  • peer support for adopted young people at our young people events
  • 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)
  • access to an adoption support assessment and links to other services that can help, including applications to the Adoption Support Fund

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
  • be part of our Voices of Adoption young people’s participation group who meet regularly to ensure adopted young people’s views are heard within the service.

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 any 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 would like support to make contact with an adopted relative or birth family member, please contact our Adoption Support team on 0115 8044500 and they 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 or 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