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ASF 2022 Support Criteria

Here it is at last – ASF 22 criteria published today.


To be eligible for funding, local authorities and RAAs must apply to the ASF within 3 months of assessing a family’s support needs.

The ASF is available for children up to and including the age of 21, or 25 with an education, health and care plan, who:

  1. are living (placed) with a family in England while waiting for adoption

  2. were adopted from local authority care in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and live in England

  3. were adopted from abroad and live in England with a recognised adoption status

  4. were in care immediately before a SGO was made

  5. left care under a special guardianship order which subsequently was changed to an adoption order, or vice versa

  6. are under a residency order or child arrangement order (CAO) and were previously looked after

  7. were previously looked after but where the adoption, special guardianship, residency or CAO placement has broken down, irrespective of any reconciliation plans (Note: Potato Group has been continually requesting all decision makers to include this as part of the eligibility funding forASF)

You should make a funding application before therapy starts. We will only consider retrospective applications in exceptional circumstances. This includes:

  1. the need for an urgent intervention due to the family situation

  2. an unexpected absence of approving local authority staff when the funding is commissioned

We will not consider administrative and clerical errors, or delays caused by organisational restructuring as exceptional.


Until the end of March 2025 the ASF will have 2 fair access limits:

  1. £2,500 per child per year for specialist assessment

  2. £5,000 per child per year for therapy

The majority of applications to the fund fall within these limits. In exceptional cases, where there is an urgent need for higher cost support, local authorities or RAAs are asked to match-fund applications.


  1. a high risk of adoption breakdown without high cost support

  2. local authorities and RAAs dealing with an unusually high number of complex cases that they cannot afford to fund without additional support from the ASF

  3. additional funding would help to progress hard to place adoptions

  4. a lack of available, affordable therapeutic support means higher cost provision is required

The ASF can fund up to 50% of the amount above the fair access limits, up to a maximum of £30,000 per child including the fair access limits.


The local authority or RAA that places a child with a family is responsible for assessing that family’s support needs for 3 years after the order is made.

After 3 years, the responsibility lies with the local authority or RAA where the family lives, if they have moved.

Families apply to the relevant local authority or RAA, which will assess their needs.

Local authorities and RAAs will:

  1. assess the family and consider if therapeutic support is needed

  2. decide on the type required and if it is eligible for payments from the ASF

  3. apply directly to the ASF

  4. purchase the support from their own list of approved suppliers when the ASF approves funding

For more information please visit the Government’s Adoption Support Fund information page.

If you are an adoptive parent and would like to join our group please visit our membership page.


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