Before I start a few ‘yes I know’s:
Yes I know we are lucky to have access to an Adoption Support Fund at all and those in Wales Scotland etc do not
Yes I know that therapy is not going to ‘fix’ my children
Yes I know there are cheaper providers of therapy available but those who know the girls, including professionals, have agreed on these providers as being in the best position to support us as a family
Yes I know that social workers have a difficult and often thankless job, have far too big case loads and too little time and in some cases training.
I applaud the introduction of the ASF and am delighted that it is available to adopters like us.
Here are some facts about the process we have been through to access ASF funding
We have had 2 assessments of need by 2 different local authorities in less than a year.
Both assessments of need conclude the same specialist provider should conduct comprehensive multidisciplinary assessments of both girls
We had to have an initial consultation from this provider, due to the complex needs of both girls and of our family as a whole, which proved stark reading but seemed very accurate to those who know the girls, including two different PASWs from different local authorities.
This should be great news shouldn’t it!
Except this process has spanned 66 long weeks so far.
There was a 24 week delay between my current LA first submitting costings to ASF and them resubmitting the same costings after conducting an assessment of need that confirmed everything in the previous one. They resubmitted on the day Edward Timpson announced new rules for ‘fair access’ to the ASF
Of course we meet the criteria for exceptional circumstances that the ASF sets out. That goes without saying.
Of course the LA ‘are not in a position to contribute to the funding’ so they will not match-fund for us.
Their suggestion is we have some assessments now and the rest in April 2017. That will be week 88 of the process. 88 weeks! How can this possibly be right?
I am going to have to borrow money to pay for some assessments which the ASF no longer funds but which it did when our application was first submitted but I can’t borrow it all.
I apologise because this is a pointless blog. I guess it achieves nothing except allowing me to vent a little.
But I feel like screaming:
MY GIRLS NEED AND DESERVE MUCH BETTER THAN THIS!