One of our priorities in Sefton is to ensure we find children loving, permanent homes as early as possible. This minimises the damage caused by the disruption of moving between placements and reduces delay. If adoption is thought to be in the best interest of a child it is important that they can quickly be placed with loving and capable adoptive families. A way of achieving this is through concurrent planning.
The idea of concurrent planning is that babies and young children are placed at an early stage of them coming into care. They live with prospective adopters who are approved as both foster carers and adopters. These carers look after them while their future is decided by the court.
As the child is placed at an early stage of the care planning process there is some uncertainty surrounding the plan for the child’s future. The Primary plan would be to return the child to their birth family, with a back-up plan for the child to be adopted. Parenting assessments of the birth parents ability to care for the child will be ongoing while the courts make their decision. In these circumstances prospective adopters need to be able to manage the uncertainty surrounding the plan for the child and preparation for this would form an important part of the assessment process.
If the courts decide that rehabilitation home is not possible then the child would remain with the concurrent carer. As they would have dual approval as adopters as well as foster carers it would progress into an adoptive placement without further delays.
One of the main advantages of concurrency for young children is the avoidance of repeated moves and delays in children being placed in their permanent family. This reduces harmful effects on their development during their formative years. Prospective adopters approved as concurrent carers who go on to adopt the child they have been looking after have the benefit of having cared for them from a very early age which in other circumstances wouldn’t have been possible.
You can read about an example of concurrent care on our Success Stories page.