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Hearing the voices of people with lived experience!

Please note – Our survey is open to all kinship carers, special guardians and adopters.

Who We Are?

Special Guardians and Adopters Together (SG&AT), are a peer support group of parents, and carers with a connection to a child, who come together to raise awareness of the challenges we face. We seek to connect and work with other stakeholders and be part of the dialogue about change. We wish for our lived experience to be useful to help others in future.

What is the Adoption Support Fund?

The ASF (Adoption Support Fund) is a fund that can be accessed through local authorities via an assessment process, by some adopters and special guardians.

We know that whilst the fund has been an invaluable support for many, there are adoptive and special guardianship children and families who cannot access the fund because they are not eligible:

  • Special guardians whose children were not previously looked after (Lack of LAC status).
  • Children & young people who cannot live within their adoptive or special guardianship family, and re-enter care (RE-CLA), where there is no intention to reunify on the part of the LA.

We believe the ASF could potentially help so many children and families where a child or young person has suffered in utero or childhood trauma. Ideally everyone raising a child who has suffered trauma would get this extra help because we need it! This would not be a false economy, as the consequences and costs to society of not giving children and families the right support is far greater than if this support is provided.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Adoption and Permanence (APPGAP) Survey and the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care

Family Rights Group are collating evidence for the Partliamentary Task Force on Kinship Care with a Survey that closes on 14th April for Kinship Carers.

We had been in discussion with policy advisors at the DfE about conducting a survey from a lived experience perspective in the days preceding the APPGAP survey launch. We were not informed about the APPGAP survey.

We encourage those eligible to take part in the APPGAP and Kinship Care surveys to do so. However, we have taken a different approach and hope our short survey will be useful for policy makers because it compares the experiences of family carers who cannot access the ASF with the experiences of families who can. We are also interested in hearing from adopters and special guardians who can make comparisons from before and after the fund was introduced in 2014, and later made available to some special guardians. So past or present – please tell us about your experiences.

Our Short Survey

The purpose of our short survey is:

  • to provide comparative data on accessing support and services between family carers and adopters who can and cannot access the ASF
  • to consider the impact of the ASF from the perspective of people with lived experience of receiving support – past and present.

Our survey is open to ALL adopters, special guardians and all family carers regardless of whether they are currently eligible for the fund or accessing assessments and support through it.

Ours is a short survey (seven questions), which should take between three to ten minutes to complete, depending on how much you would like to say.

We will analyse the findings, and combine this knowledge with the data from our other surveys and research, to produce a report for the relevant All-Party Parliamentary Groups and secretariat organisations. We will seek advice from academics if needed as we have developed good links with universities. Unfortunately we are not able to collect and analyse the data to submit a report to APPGAP by the 24th April submission date and we would like to give participants a bit more time to take part. We will however completed the project as swiftly as possible to assist the APPGs.

The deadline for submission of your feedback to us is May 4th

We will publish the completed report on our website so that those who provide feedback can see what we have written, as well as submitting it to government.

We really hope to have the opportunity to talk to other stakeholder organisations and government about our findings.

Please click here to go our survey

Ethics Statement

This is an anonymous survey using Survey Monkey. Individuals and organisations will not be identified in our report, which will be written by Dr Sylvia Schroer (Chair of SG&AT), supported by other adopters and special guardians in our group. If you have any concerns or complaints about this survey, please write to sgandadopterstogether@gmail.com, for the attention of the management team.

We welcome new members and would love for you to join with us if you are a special guardian or an adopter. You can access a membership application form HERE