Early Permanence

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Early Permanence is where children in care are placed at the earliest opportunity with adopters who are also approved as foster carers.

Local authorities have a duty to ensure that every child with a plan for adoption is placed in their permanent home as soon as possible. An early permanence placement must now be considered in every case where the child cannot be cared for by their birth family.


What is Early Permanence?

Early permanence includes both concurrent planning and fostering for adoption (also called foster to adopt) placements. Both approaches aim to place children where the courts are still considering whether they can safely return to the care of their family or whether they might need to be adopted. Children identified for an early permanence placement have a higher risk of being unable to return to their birth family and a likelihood of adoption for their permanence plan. Early permanence carers are approved as both foster carers and adopters and will initially perform the role of foster carer while the courts decide whether or not a child can return to his/ her birth family.

Jonny talks about Early Permanence

In this You Can Adopt podcast, hosted by radio DJ Pandora Christie, Pandora speaks to guest Jonny about his experience of adopting through early permanence. Jonny is an Adoption Matters adopter who adopted through the early permanence route of concurrent planning.

Listen to the podcast here: Arrow Icon

Fostering and Early Permanence

During any fostering phase, carers are paid a fostering allowance and there will be regular supervised contact with birth family in a neutral venue, which carers need to be available to take the child to.

Most often, this approach is identified for very young children but this is changing and we are placing children up to the age of 6 years often with their younger siblings, in early permanence placements.

Early Permanence placements are intended to give children stability in their early years, reducing the moves and enabling them to make secure attachments to carers who may go on to adopt them. Early Permanence placements are already showing positive results in improving outcomes for children where adoption is the likely path to permanence

Early permanence shifts the uncertainty from the child to the carers and provides greater protection for the child against any delays. As an early permanence carer, you will be given full support and training to help you manage this.

Annie & Jay*

Annie and Jay, adopted their two children aged 2 and 4 through Early Permanence – Fostering for Adoption.

The process was a lot less scary than I had originally thought it would be and Adoption Matters were amazing. As Christians, we journeyed with Home for Good who then put us in touch with Adoption Matters, whom they partner with. Adoption Matters bigged up our faith and showed how it was an advantage in adoption. It’s not been all sunshine and roses and there have been (and still are) challenges along the way. But it is so rewarding and has given us a completely new perspective on life and faith.

*Names changed to protect identity


We are highly experienced in Early Permanence

Our teams are very experienced in supporting early permanence. From 2014 to January 2024, we delivered a Concurrent Planning Service in the North West in partnership with another VAA Caritas Care.

The service grew to be the largest of its kind in the UK placing over 187 children in early permanence placements. The service led the way in the Early Permanence arena and helped pave the way for many of the services across the country. In January 2024, due to the changing adoption landscape, our concurrent planning service teams moved back in-house bringing a wealth of experience into on early permanence. Read more about the service here

We will discuss early permanence in detail to help you decide if this option is right for you. Should you decide to consider early permanence, full training and support will be provided.

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