The Adoption Support Services (Local Authorities) (England) Regulations 2003

Cited as:SI 2003/1348
Jurisdiction:UK Non-devolved

2003No. 1348

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS, ENGLAND

The Adoption Support Services (Local Authorities) (England) Regulations 2003

21stMay2003

22ndMay2003

31stOctober2003

The Secretary of State, in exercise of the powers conferred upon him by sections 9(3) and 67(5) of the Adoption Act 1976( 1) and sections 2(6)(b) and (7), 4(6) and (7)(b) to (i), 139(2), 140(7) and (8) and 142(4) and (5) of, and paragraph 3 of Schedule 4 to, the Adoption and Children Act 2002( 2), and all other powers enabling him in that behalf, hereby makes the following Regulations:

Citation, commencement, application and interpretation

1. - (1) These Regulations may be cited as the Adoption Support Services (Local Authorities) (England) Regulations 2003 and shall come into force on 31st October 2003.

(2) These Regulations apply to England only.

(3) In these Regulations -

"the 2002 Act" means the Adoption and Children Act 2002;

"the 1983 Regulations" means the Adoption Agencies Regulations 1983( 3);

"adoption agency" has the same meaning as in the Adoption Act 1976( 4);

"adoption support services" shall be construed in accordance with regulation 2(1);

"adoptive child" means, subject to paragraph (5), a child who is an agency adoptive child or a non-agency adoptive child;

"adoptive family" means an adoptive child, the adoptive parent of the adoptive child, and any child of the adoptive parent, and references to the adoptive family of a person, or to an adoptive family in relation to a person, shall be construed as the adoptive family of which that person is a member;

"adoptive parent" means a person -

(a) who an adoption agency has decided in accordance with regulation 11(1) of the 1983 Regulations would be a suitable adoptive parent for a particular child;(b) with whom an adoption agency has placed a child for adoption;(c) who has given notice under section 22(1) of the Adoption Act 1976 of his intention to apply for an adoption order for a child; or(d) who has adopted a child,

but does not include a person where the child is no longer a child, or where the person is the step-parent or natural parent of the child, or was the step-parent of the child before he adopted the child;

"agency adoptive child" means a child -

(a) in respect of whom an adoption agency has decided in accordance with regulation 11(1) of the 1983 Regulations that a person would be a suitable adoptive parent for the child;(b) whom an adoption agency has placed for adoption; or(c) who has been adopted after having been placed for adoption by an adoption agency;

"child" means, subject to paragraph (5), a person who has not attained the age of 18 years;

"child of an adoptive parent", in any case where the provision of adoption support services, or any assessment in respect of adoption support services, is in relation to the adoption or prospective adoption of an adoptive child by an adoptive parent, means a child, other than that adoptive child, of the adoptive parent;

"child tax credit" has the same meaning as in the Tax Credits Act 2002( 5);

"foster parent" has the same meaning as in the Fostering Services Regulations 2002( 6);

"income support" means income support under Part VII of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992( 7);

"jobseeker's allowance" has the same meaning as in the Jobseekers Act 1995( 8);

"local education authority" has the same meaning as in the Education Act 1996( 9);

"non-agency adoptive child" means a child -

(a) in respect of whom a person - (i) has given notice under section 22(1) of the Adoption Act 1976 of his intention to apply for an adoption order; and(ii) is not the natural parent or step-parent of the child; or(b) who has been adopted by a person who - (i) is not the natural parent of the child; and(ii) was not the step-parent of the child before he adopted the child,

but does not include an agency adoptive child;

"notify" means notify in writing;

"person entitled to be assessed" means -

(a) an adoptive parent;(b) an adoptive child;(c) a child of an adoptive parent; or(d) a related person;

"plan" shall be construed in accordance with regulation 11;

"related person" means a person, other than an adoptive child, referred to in regulation 2(1)(c)(i) or (ii).

(4) In these Regulations -

(a) any reference to a child who is looked after by a local authority has the same meaning as it has in the Children Act 1989( 10);(b) any reference to a person's adoptive child is to a child who is an adoptive child in relation to that person;(c) any reference to a child's adoptive parent is to a person who is an adoptive parent in relation to that child;(d) references (other than references in this sub-paragraph) to a child being placed, or being placed for adoption - (i) are to the child being placed for adoption with a prospective adopter by an adoption agency;(ii) include, where the child has been placed with a person by an adoption agency, leaving the child with him as a prospective adopter.

(5) In any case where -

(a) a person has attained the age of 18 years and is in full-time education or training; and(b) immediately before he attained the age of 18 years - (i) he was an adoptive child; and(ii) financial support was payable in relation to him,

the definitions of "adoptive child" and "child" shall, for the purposes of the continued provision of financial support and any review of financial support, have effect in relation to him as if he had not attained the age of 18 years.

Provision of adoption support services

2. - (1) For the purposes of section 2(6) of the 2002 Act (definition of "adoption support services")( 11), the following services are prescribed -

(a) financial support payable under regulation 3;(b) services to enable groups of adoptive parents and adoptive children to discuss matters relating to adoption;(c) assistance in relation to arrangements for contact between an adoptive child and - (i) a natural parent or relative( 12) of the adoptive child; or(ii) any person with whom the adoptive child has a relationship which appears to the local authority to be beneficial to the welfare of the child having regard to the matters referred to in sub-paragraphs (i) to (iii) of section 1(4)(f) of the 2002 Act;(d) services that may be provided in relation to the therapeutic needs of an adoptive child;(e) assistance for the purpose of ensuring the continuance of the relationship between the child and his adoptive parent, including - (i) training for adoptive parents for the purpose of meeting any special needs of the child;(ii) respite care.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3), local authorities shall make arrangements for the purpose of providing any service specified in column (1) of the table in the Schedule for persons who are of a description specified in the corresponding entry in column (2) of the table.

(3) The arrangements referred to in paragraph (2) in respect of any service are required to be made whether or not the local authority have decided to provide the service to any person.

(4) The services prescribed in paragraph (1)(b) to (e) may include -

(a) giving assistance in cash;(b) making arrangements with other persons for the purpose of providing those services.

(5) These Regulations shall apply to a local authority in respect of a person who lives in the area of the local authority or, in the circumstances specified in paragraph (6), a person ("the individual") who lives outside that area.

(6) The circumstances specified are where -

(a) a person entitled to be assessed lives in that area;(b) the individual, or a person entitled to be assessed - (i) has at any time in the preceding six months lived in that area; or(ii) intends to live in that area; or(c) the individual (if he is the adoptive child), or the adoptive child - (i) is looked after by the local authority;(ii) has not been adopted but has been placed by the local authority for adoption; or(iii) has been adopted and, before the adoption order was made, was placed for adoption with the adoptive parents by the local authority;(d) the individual is not the adoptive child and the local authority have assessed the individual's needs for adoption support services in relation to the adoption or prospective adoption of the adoptive child.

Circumstances in which financial support may be paid

3. - (1) Financial support may be paid only to an adoptive parent, and only where one or more of the circumstances specified in paragraph (2) exists.

(2) The circumstances referred to in paragraph (1) are -

(a) where the child has not been placed with the adoptive parents for adoption, and financial support is necessary to ensure that the adoptive parents can look after the child if placed with them;(b) where the child has been placed with the adoptive parents for adoption, and financial support is necessary to ensure that the adoptive parents can continue to look after the child;(c) where the child has been adopted, and financial support is necessary to ensure that the adoptive parents can continue to look after the child;(d) where the local authority are satisfied that the child has established a strong and important relationship with the adoptive parent before the adoption order is made;(e) where it is desirable that the child be placed with the same adoptive parent as his brother or sister (whether of the full blood or half blood), or with a child with whom he has previously shared a home;(f) where the child needs special care which requires a greater expenditure of resources by reason of illness, disability, emotional or behavioural difficulties or the continuing consequences of past abuse or neglect;(g) where on account of the age, sex or ethnic origin of the child it is necessary for the local authority to make special arrangements to facilitate the placement of the child for adoption.

(3) Before financial support is payable the local authority shall require the adoptive parents to have agreed to -

(a) inform the local authority immediately if - (i) they...

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