Beacon House offers a specialist service for children who are adopted, or who are cared for under a Special Guardianship Order (SGO). We are registered as an Adoption Support Agency with Ofsted, which means the safety and effectiveness of our services are regulated and evaluated.

We understand that children who are adopted and who are cared for by special guardians have complex and often profound difficulties, and that families often feel that they are struggling in isolation with emotions of shame, anxiety and fear about their future.

Many children who have suffered stress in the womb, attachment disruptions, and/or abuse and neglect go on to experience Developmental Trauma. You can read all about how we understand and repair Developmental Trauma here.

Our team is highly committed to providing and developing services for adoptive and special guardianship families, all of whom are referred to us by their Local Authority and funded by the Adoption Support Fund (ASF). The ASF is a fund set up by the government in recognition of the often complex and profound needs of adopted children and children cared for under a SGO. The following children and young people are eligible to access the ASF:

  • Children who are living with a family in England while waiting for adoption
  • Children who were adopted from local authority care in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and live in England
  • Children who were adopted from abroad and live in England with a recognised adoption status
  • Children who were in care immediately before a SGO was made
  • Children who left care under a special guardianship order which subsequently was changed to an adoption order, or vice versa
  • Children who left care under a child arrangement order (CAO) to enable the assessment of a potential special guardian, while the CAO is in force.

Each young person eligible for the ASF is able to access £2500 per year for a specialist therapeutic needs assessment; and £5000 per year for therapeutic interventions which are within ASF scope.

Individuals up to the age of 21, or 25 if they have an EHCP and are in education, are able to access the ASF.

For more information visit

To achieve positive outcomes for children, the ASF will pay for therapeutic services including:

  • Therapeutic parenting, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Family Therapy
  • Theraplay
  • Creative therapies (e.g. art, music, drama, play)
  • Sensory Integration and Sensory Attachment Intervention
  • Psychotherapy (e.g. EMDR and Mentalization Based Treatment)
  • Non-Violent Resistance (NVR)

How do I refer to Beacon House under the Adoption Support Fund?

In order to access the fund, your child will need to have an assessment of adoption support needs carried out by the local authority. The local authority that placed your child with you is responsible for assessing their needs for three years after the adoption order. Following an adoption support assessment, the local authority can then make a referral to Beacon House. When we receive a referral, we will:

  • Review the information to ensure we are able to offer what is being asked for
  • Provide an estimate of costs to the social worker for an initial therapeutic needs assessment, which they will submit to the ASF.
  • Get in touch with the parent/carer to offer an ‘introductory conversation’ and explain what will happen next.

Once the ASF has approved the funds (which usually takes around 4-6 weeks), we can introduce the family to a specialist therapist in the team and our therapeutic needs assessment will begin.

Our ASF assessments take around 6-8 weeks to complete and they follow the description you can find on our Developmental Trauma page. At the end of the assessment (which we see as the first ‘chapter’ of our work together) we will share with the family our formulation of the difficulties, and collaboratively discuss the intervention plan.

A further request for funds is then made to the ASF via the local authority, and once approved (around 4 weeks later), therapy can begin as soon as we have availability. To see a flow diagram of the referral process and timescales, take a look here.

We take pride in making the way we work transparent and accessible. Please take a look through the following documents which explain what you can expect when you come to Beacon House for our adoption and special guardian specialist services:

Interested in hearing how adoptive and special guardian families experience Beacon House? 

  • Click here for testimonials from parents and carers who have been supported by Beacon House and funded by the ASF
  • Click here for testimonials from children who have been supported by Beacon House and funded by the ASF
  • Click here for testimonials from teens who have been supported by Beacon House and funded by the ASF

We collect data from all families who come here funded by the ASF. To read about our outcomes and the positive impact we make to family’s lives, please click here.

Please feel free to get in touch with us for an informal conversation on 01444 413 939 or

Please note that we only accept ASF referrals for children resident in Sussex. To ensure we can meet the needs of our families and adult clients, we periodically open to a small number of new ASF funded referrals.