Priority Housing for Approved Adopters
Approved adopters may be entitled to priority access to council housing – this will depend on the individual Local Authorities housing policy. You would need to make enquiries with the Housing Department in your local authority to establish what the policy is. You can however refer to the guidance below when making a case for priority housing as an approved adopter.
Below is an extract taken from the ‘Allocation of Accommodation: Guidance for local housing authorities in England’ and it clearly details the need for authorities to support approved adopters who need to move to a larger home to accommodate a child who was previously looked after by a local authority.
The guidance states (page 19):
“Medical and welfare grounds
4.9 The medical and welfare reasonable preference category includes people who need to move because of their disability or access needs, and this includes people with a learning disability as well as those with a physical disability.
4.10 ’Welfare grounds’ would encompass a wide range of needs, including, but not limited to, the need to:
provide a secure base from which a care leaver, or a person who is moving on from a drug or alcohol recovery programme, can build a stable life
provide accommodation, with appropriate care and support, for those who could not be expected to find their own accommodation, such as young adults with learning disabilities who wish to live independently in the community
provide or receive care or support. This would include foster carers, those approved to adopt, or those being assessed for approval to foster or adopt, who need to move to a larger home in order to accommodate a looked after child or a child who was previously looked after by a local authority. It would also include special guardians, holders of a residence order and family and friends carers who are not foster carers but who have taken on the care of a child because the parents are unable to provide care
Also (page 23):
Prospective adopters and foster carers
4.30 When considering housing applications from prospective foster carers or adopters who would require an extra bedroom to accommodate a foster or adoptive child, authorities will wish to weigh up the risk that the application to foster or adopt may be unsuccessful (leading to the property being under-occupied), against the wider benefits which would be realised if the placement was successful.
4.31 Children’s services have a duty under s.22G of the Children Act 1989 to ensure sufficient accommodation to meet the needs of the looked after children in their area. Authorities should work together with children’s services to best meet the needs of prospective and approved foster carers and adopters, so that children’s services can meet their s.22G duty. One way to strike an appropriate balance would be to set aside a quota of properties each year for people who need to move to larger accommodation in order to foster or adopt a child on the recommendation of children’s services.”