The process known as “Fostering for adoption” was designed to help more children live with foster carers who could become their adoptive family as soon as possible after leaving their birth family and so avoiding them being moved from carer to carer too often.
Fostering for adoption applies to England only although in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, placements may also start on a fostering basis.
Fostering for adoption usually involves the following circumstances:
- the child has been removed from their birth family but the court hasn't yet decided whether they should go back home, live with family members or be adopted
- the local authority wants to minimise the number of potential moves for this child and does not support the child returning to their birth family
- the local authority is willing to assess approved adopters as temporary foster carers for this specific child and this decision is made by the local authority decision maker, or the local authority or approving adoption agency are able to agree "dual approved" as a prospective adopter and a foster carer
- the family will care for the child while the local authority and birth family retain joint parental responsibility. They will receive a foster allowance. They would expect to have limited, if any, contact with the birth family
- the family caring for the child is willing to accept the uncertainty of the placement i.e that the court may decide that the child should be returned to their birth family, knowing that it is better for the child to have a secure placement where attachments can start to develop from an earlier age and to avoid unnecessary moves.
If the court later decides that the child should be adopted the adoption agency will then approve the “match” between these carers as adopters and the child and the placement becomes an adoption placement.
If you are considering this route to adoption, there are many things you need to take into account. These are explored in the CoramBAAF Fostering for Adoption leaflet for carers which can be accessed using the link below.
Concurrent Planning, which is another way to foster a young child whom you may be able to adopt later.
Concurrent Planning is a way of finding permanent families for babies and children under two who have been removed from their birth family, and who may either be adopted, or go back to their birth parents.
How does concurrent planning work?
A concurrent carer will be the child’s foster carer while the court decides on the best option for the child. During that time, the child is likely to have frequent contact with their birth parents as part of the assessment to decide if they can safely go home, and the concurrent carer will support the birth family in regaining the care of their child.
If the court decides to return the child to their birth family, the concurrent carer will have the satisfaction of knowing they have given these children the best possible start in life by providing care and security from the earliest time. They will also help them settle back into their birth family.
If the decision is made that the child’s birth parents are unable to care for them and there are no alternative carers, then the child will remain with their concurrent carer who will go on to adopt them.
How do I become a concurrent carer?
In order to become a concurrent carer, you need to be emotionally resourceful and able to put the needs of very young children first. You will need to be able to respect and work with the child’s birth family in order to support them.
The process of being assessed and approved is very similar to that of becoming an adopter or a foster carer. Concurrent carers will be prepared, trained and assessed both as adopters and foster carers.
At the end of the assessment, the family’s social worker will prepare a report which will need to be presented to both a fostering panel and an adoption panel or in some agencies a permanence panel which can make a recommendation on both approvals..
The panel will make a recommendation about the family’s suitability to become prospective adopters and concurrent foster carers. The agency’s decision maker will then make the final decision.
Enquire about Fostering for Adoption or Concurrent Planning
If you live in the North East of England within 50 miles of Newcastle and you'd like more information about Fostering for Adoption or Concurrent Planning, please complete our Adoption enquiry form or call 0191 2116777.