Adoption Support Fund: Q&A for service providers

What do I need to do to deliver adoption support services funded by the ASF?

If you are an independent provider of services you must be registered with Ofsted to access funding from the ASF or you can be employed to provide adoption support services (which are paid for through the ASF) under the Ofsted registration of the LA that is applying for funding.

You should also inform your local authority (and possibly neighbouring authorities) about the services you provide so that they can refer parents should the family’s assessment of need recommend the type of service you provide and the ASF agrees to fund it.

How does the funding process work?

Local authorities must complete an assessment of need if adoptive parents request one. Once this has been completed, and the local authority and parents have determined that therapeutic adoption support of the type eligible for payments from the ASF is needed, the local authority can then apply to the ASF. There will, at this point, also be a discussion about who may provide that service, dependant on the availability of providers in that area. The local authority will make an application directly to the ASF on behalf of the parent. On receipt of an application, the ASF will ensure that the services required meet its eligibility criteria, and process payment back to the local authority. The authority will then purchase the agreed services on behalf of the family. The process should be quick and straightforward.

What if I am already providing therapeutic services to a family who then request an assessment?

If the parents ask their local authority to complete an assessment of need and the assessment recommends your services, you may continue to deliver the service providing you are registered with Ofsted and the ASF agrees to fund the provision.

I sometimes provide therapeutic services to a local authority under their Ofsted registration. If the funding comes from the ASF, do we have to be individually registered with Ofsted?

No, you will be covered by the LA’s Ofsted registration provided that the local authority agrees to assume responsibility for quality assurance as an OFSTED registered organisation.

If they agree, it is for the LA to determine and carry the risk of employing any individual/s who would carry out commissioned services.