Support and training for adopters and special guardians | Oxfordshire County Council

Support and training for adopters and special guardians

Information about support services and training available to adopters and special guardians.

Mother on phone, child on lap


We provide support to all adopters and special guardians who are registered with us, through:

  • advice and information
  • support groups for adopted children or adoptive parents
  • counselling
  • assistance over contact
  • services in relation to therapeutic needs of a child
  • access to other services, such as education
  • training and activities
  • an adoption newsletter
  • a special guardians newsletter

Please contact us if you would like to be notified of these events.

Key documents


The Adoption and Permanence Support Team run a helpdesk, where a social worker will be available to talk to adoptive parents and special guardians. You can contact us either by telephone, email or by writing to us.  Find out more about the Adoption and Permanence Support Helpdesk.

Support plan

If only a simple, one-off service is needed, this may be provided without a formal adoption support plan being drawn up. If, following assessment, there is a need for ongoing adoption support, we will draw up a plan of what services we propose to offer. The plan will be reviewed periodically.


Course costs are met by Oxfordshire County Council for adopters approved by us and/or for adopters resident in Oxfordshire where their children were adopted more than three years ago.

View dates and information of the training we offer.

Adoptive parents can also access training events for foster carers and adopters organised by the Oxfordshire Learning and Development Team. See The Learning Zone for details.

The Adoption Support Fund

The Adoption Support Fund (ASF) rolled out nationally in May 2015, has helped many adopted families obtain the support they need.  In January 2016 the DfE extended the scope of the fund so families can receive support as soon as adopted children are placed with them. 

The ASF will be available for children up to and including the age of 21 (or 25 with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or Education Health & Care Plan) who have been adopted from local authority care in England, or adopted from Wales but living in England. 

It is available for children living in England who were adopted from other countries (including Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) to use the ASF.   The ASF is also available to support special guardians who care for children who were previously looked after.

To access the ASF, you will need to have had an assessment of your families’ adoption support needs by the local authority. This is a current legal obligation of all local authorities. Where the social worker identifies that therapeutic services would be beneficial to your family, they will apply to the ASF on your behalf, and if agreed the funding will be released to the local authority.

The Adoption Support Fund – the First Year is a guide that includes information for parents about how to access the fund as well as examples of how it has worked well.  The guide is designed to help parents understand what the Fund is, what it will pay for and how they can apply.

If you are a new or prospective adopter you will need to discuss making an application to the ASF with your adoption social worker or your child's social worker. If you do not have a social worker and wish to request an assessment of support needs, please contact the Adoption and Permanence Support Helpdesk on 01865 897981 or at

For more detailed information on how the Fund will operate and the eligibility criteria. please follow this to the First4Adoption site.

Adoption and permanence support for children and young people

These booklets are for children and young people being adopted.

Last reviewed
15 June 2016

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