Adopting with Concurrent Planning

Adopting with Concurrent Planning is a service for very young children who enter care and are likely to need adoption, but who also still have a small chance of being reunited with their birth family.

You will be approved as both foster carers and adopters, meaning that you will initially perform the role of foster carer while the courts decide whether or not the child can return to his/her birth family. During this period the child will need to see their birth family regularly and you will need to bring the child or children to a contact centre.

The majority of the children placed (*90%) through our service do go onto be adopted by their concurrent carers.  They will have had the benefit of being placed with their potential permanent family early on and experience no moves or disruptions in their early relationships; we know this is crucial for future attachment.

After careful assessment and consideration, the court may decide it is in the child’s best interests to return home to their birth family and the child maybe returned to their care. Concurrent carers will have the satisfaction of knowing that they have given the child the best possible start in life by providing care and security from the earliest stages and will play at part in helping them settle back into their family.

* Statistic for 135 children placed through our service as at October 2020.

*Update March 2022*

Over the last 12 months our service has seen an increase in the need for carers for children aged 6 months and above together with sibling groups of children, so we will be prioritising enquirers who are interested in finding out more about this group of children. Our service covers the whole of the North West including; Lancashire, Greater Manchester; Cheshire; Wirral and Merseyside – we currently have a high need for carers in the Greater Manchester area so again, we will prioritise enquirers from this area.

Thank you so much for your interest in the Concurrent Planning Service.

The largest service of its kind in the country – delivered in partnership

Caritas Care partnered with Adoption Matters in 2014 to form the Concurrent Planning Service to offer this innovative route for some young children in the care system.  The service is now one of the largest services of its kind in the UK and covers the whole of the North West including; Lancashire, Greater Manchester; Cheshire; Wirral and Merseyside areas. We have now placed over 100 children through the service and approved over 100 individuals and families.


From the onset you will receive a high level of support from the dedicated Concurrent Planning Service team as well as ongoing support through our Adoption Support at Caritas Care Service.

You will be assessed and training through our dedicated Concurrent Planning Service team and offered tailored fostering and adoption training.  We service run regular coffee mornings and support groups as well as specialist training.  As Caritas Care approved adopter, you will also have access to the full training options through our Adoption Support at Caritas Care Service

You will be allocated a social worker within the team who will offer support and supervision on an individual basis throughout the duration of the placement.

There is an emergency, out of hour’s phone line for all of our carers which is staffed by an experienced member of the service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Our ongoing and comprehensive programme of training and support is available to all our families throughout the process. You will have access to Caritas Care’s Fostering Service full training programme as well as a bespoke package of training and support through the service.  In addition to this, you will have access to our Adoption Support at Caritas Care Service.

An example of some of the support offered through the service includes:
  • Training specifically for Concurrent Planning
  • Focusing on the fostering task.
  • A Carers Support Group, held monthly for people in Stage 2
  • Workshops designed specifically for family and friends of concurrent planning carers.

What kind of people are we looking for?

We welcome people interested in Adopting with Concurrent Planning irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, religion and disability; we have approved many single people too.  We encourage people from many different backgrounds to match the diverse needs of the many children in care who may access this service.

Things you will need to consider

One carer needs to be at home full time during the fostering phase of placement which is a minimum of around 6 months. It is encouraged that you take more time off if you can and to look at sharing your adoption leave if applying as a couple.

You must be able to support the return of a child to their birth family if the court does decide that this is in the child’s best interests.  As hard as this is for our carers, we know they take comfort in the knowledge that their care has helped a family reunite and they played a very important role in making this happen. Read Jess’ story here  on how she coped when a child placed with her returned home.

You must be loving, emotionally resourceful and at all times able to put the needs of very young children first.

You must be able to respect and work with birth families and be prepared to support contact between children and their families on a very regular basis. All contact sessions are held at a neutral location and supervised by professionals but you will need to be able to take children to and from contacts and meet with family.

You need to be prepared to deal with uncertainty. We will be there  to support you every step of the way.

You will need your own strong support networks such as family, friends who you can call on for emotional and practical support.

Interested in finding out more about Adopting with Concurrent Planning?
The Concurrent Planning Service also hold regular information evenings across the North West that can be found on our event pages here, or you can chat to the team direct by calling 0800 652 6955 or click here to enquire online.