North West Independent Adoption Agencies Caritas Care and Adoption Matters are delighted to have made their 50th placement with their innovative partnership service, Concurrent Planning.
In 2014, the two adoption agencies joined forces after recognising a need for a service that focused on providing the best possible outcome for babies and toddlers in care who are likely to need adoption, but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family.
North West Concurrent Planning Manager, Cathy Sowden said; “Our Concurrent Carers are approved as both foster carer and adopter, performing the role of foster carers whilst the courts decide whether or not a child can return to his or her birth family.”
She added; “We are delighted that in just three years, we have placed 50 babies with Concurrent Carers, supported six returning back home to their birth families, found permanent families for 33 and currently have 11 living with Concurrent Carers awaiting outcome from the courts.
Concurrency is totally centred in ensuring the best outcome for the child and all of our carers are prepared and supported every step of the way. Whatever the outcome, both the service and our carers have the knowledge and contentment that they have given the child a really good start in life.”
Concurrent Carer Kerry told us; “With Concurrent Planning it means the children will have this great start whether they stay with you or go back to live with their birth parents. At least you know that it’s the right thing for them and that you have given them the best start you can.”
There is a growing demand for concurrent carers and adopters across the country, and although there has been a lot of campaigning recently for adopters to step forward due to the increasing need for older children, there are still babies who need permanent families, and Concurrent Planning is another route to achieving this.
The service trains and supports Concurrent Carers to prepare them for either the child returning to their birth family or remaining with them and becoming part of their own family through adoption. 1 in 5 children do return home and so the service put strategies in place so that carers are totally prepared and emotionally equipped to deal with this should the situation arise. Nearly all of the carers who have supported a child returning to their birth family, have come back to do it all again!
Pictured above: Members of the NW Concurrent Planning Service together with Adoption Matters & Caritas Care Chief Executive’s Norman Goodwin, CBE & Amanda Forshaw.
Concurrent Planning Adopter Kerry talks here about why she chose this different route to adoption: