Early Permanence is the umbrella term given to different arrangements including Fostering for Adoption and Concurrent Planning, that are designed to reduce the number of moves a child in the care system potentially makes and in turn, offer better outcomes and life chances for these children.
Research shows that the longer the delay and the greater the number of care placements a child has, the greater the potential for damage to children’s mental health and development.
We are looking for adopters across the North East region now who can consider an alternative route to adoption through fostering for adoption.
Fostering for Adoption places a child or children with approved adopters who are also approved as foster carers (sometimes known as dual approved carers). During the fostering stage of the placement the courts are deciding what is in the child’s best interests but the local council / regional adoption agency have already decided that adoption is the right plan.
If the courts decide that adoption is in the child’s best interests, the child then stays with their current fostering for adoption carer who then go on to adopt the child.
Child development research consistently shows that the attachments children form early in their lives are crucial to their future development and that disrupting these attachments, particularly early in life, should be avoided.
Therefore, Fostering for Adoption is a better option for the child as they have fewer moves and carers in their early lives. However, the risks are placed on the fostering for adoption carers.
We also offer a concurrent planning service in the North West region for young children who are likely to need adoption but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family. The main difference between the two is that in Concurrent Planning neither the court nor the local council / regional adoption agency have yet decided what the best plan for the child is, whereas in Fostering for Adoption the local council / regional adoption agency has decided that the right plan for the child is adoption, but the court is still yet to decide.
For many adopters, neither of these early permanence options is the right choice and the traditional adoption route is preferred but we want to ensure that all our enquirers are fully informed of all the options open to them.
Why choose Fostering for Adoption?
Fostering for Adoption does have risks and you will need to work with the uncertainty of a child or children returning home. Although this is the exception, carers have told us that although it is painful when a child returns home, they have the satisfaction of knowing that they have given a child love and security when they most needed it in their early lives and helped a family to be reunited.
Fostering for Adoption carers need to be completely child-centred, if a child can be returned to birth family, they will be, if it is in their best interests. You need to be prepared for this risk. We will support you every step of the way.
You will be trained on working with birth parents, facilitating contact, understanding and dealing with uncertainty, and prepared for the possibility of a child returning home. Most children placed for Fostering for Adoption are very young, often babies but we do also have a need for individuals and families able to consider school-age children who may be part of sibling groups. Fostering for Adoption and Concurrent Planning are already showing positive results in limiting delay and securing better outcomes for children where adoption is their likely plan.
Fostering for Adoption carers who go on to adopt get to know and love their children from a young age and help them through a time in their life when they are most vulnerable. You may also get to know the parents of the child through contact which can form the basis for meaningful contact in the future and be an important source of information for the child in later life.