People who are keen to adopt will be able to “buddy up” with existing adopters who will mentor them as part of an initiative being backed with £500,000 of government money.
The scheme, called Cornerstone, will also offer aspiring adopters specialist parenting training to help them in their new role, from how to help their child settle into their new home to talking to them about their birth family and why they were adopted.
It is the 10th scheme to be funded through the Department for Education's £100m Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.
It is hoped that, alongside providing help and practical training for first-time adopters, it will also boost the number of adoptions taking place by encouraging and supporting prospective adopters along the approval process.
Children’s minister Edward Timpson stressed the importance of adoptive parents getting the right support at the right time.
“This innovative programme will support adoptive families – from those who have been adopting for years to those at the beginning of the journey – every step of the way,” he said.
Helen Keenan, co-founder and chief executive of Cornerstone, said she will be working with leading experts in the UK and USA to create a programme that gives parents what they really need.
“We believe our package of support can really make a difference to the quality of life of adoptive families while also creating efficiencies for adoption agencies. Our mission is simple, to help more families to adopt children who need loving homes, and we can’t wait to get started.”