The Concurrent Planning Service was launched in 2014 as a partnership service delivered by Adoption Matters and Caritas Care, working with 4 Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs) in the North West. When the service was launched, Early Permanence* was in its infancy across the country (*Early Permanence includes both concurrent planning and fostering for adoption). Just 4 years later, the service celebrated its 100th placement and became the largest service of its kind in the country.
Over the last 3 years, the adoption landscape has changed significantly with a huge shift towards modernising adoption and the development of Early Permanence within all regional adoption agencies and local authority children’s teams.
Our service was mentioned as a good practice model in the National Adoption Strategy 2021 when an initial £500K of funding was then given to RAAs to “improve Early Permanence arrangements in RAAs and to increase the number of children put forward for an Early Permanence placement. This will include: training for both agency staff and prospective carers; training for the judiciary, local authority legal teams and CAFCASS; funding regional advocates to ensure that Early Permanence is considered as a potential placement type in every suitable case; encouraging RAAs to apply for the Early Permanence Quality Mark’
This was a huge step forward for Early Permanence and meant that many more children across the country could benefit from the innovative practice.
We are so proud that Early Permanence is now high on the agenda for all children’s services professionals and that its importance in reducing moves or disruptions in children’s early relationships is recognised as good practice; as we know this is crucial for future attachment.
As Early Permanence has grown, it is for this reason that we have made the decision to move our concurrent planning service staff back into our two partner adoption agencies, Adoption Matters and Caritas Care. This enables them to bring their wealth of experience into the teams and further embed that innovative practice developed over the last 9 years.
We are so very proud of all that our service has achieved, and we hope you are too as we couldn’t have done any of this without you. Just some of our achievements include:
In March 2021, we hosted a launch event for research which was commissioned and funded by our service together with Barnardo’s in order to gain a better understanding of early permanence approaches and how they can be better developed. “Understanding Early Permanence: A small scale research study” by Rebecca Brown and Claire Mason (University of Lancaster).
The service was innovative, pioneering and adaptable, constantly changing to meet the needs of children waiting. A service which led the way in the Early Permanence arena and our work has helped pave the way for many of the services now embedded across the country helping hundreds more children and families. We are so very proud of that.
Adoption Matters will continue to develop our early permanence offer to new families through our adoption teams. Early Permanence will remain a hugely important aspect of all our work as we know the positive impact it has for the children, our families and birth families.
 National Adoption Strategy 2021 – https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1006232/_Adoption_strategy_.pdf
 “Understanding Early Permanence: A Small scale research study” https://www.cfj-lancaster.org.uk/files/documents/Early%20Permanence%20Brown%20and%20Mason%20FINAL%20Feb%202021%20LAUNCH.pdf