This is when a child or children are living in foster care and legal proceedings have concluded that they cannot return to live with their birth family for many different reasons. An adoptive family is found and the child or children move to live with them. It is a legal process where all rights and responsibilities are transferred to the adoptive parents permanently on the making of the adoption order.
Caritas Care’s Adoption Service is rated OUTSTANDING in ALL areas by Ofsted.
Early Permanence is a way of providing stability for a child of any age. In some cases a child’s plan is being “twin-tracked” (Concurrent Planning) and an assessment has not yet concluded what the right plan should be. In other cases the Local Authority plan is adoption but the court proceedings have not yet concluded.
Early Permanence is aimed at reducing delay and ensuring that children are placed in what is likely to be their “forever” home earlier. This provides consistency and stability for them at an earlier stage which means that they can start to put down roots and settle. Children who experience inconsistency can struggle in all aspects of their lives- Early Permanence can make a big difference in their formative years.
Fostering for Adoption
Another route to adopt is through Fostering for Adoption. This involves being approved as an adoptive parent, but when a child/ren are placed with you it would initially be on a fostering basis.
The child is placed under fostering regulations because, whilst the local authority have already decided that adoption is the right plan for the child, the courts are still to decide what they think is the best outcome and this could be for them to return to their birth family. It is centred around the child and aimed to minimise change and create stability at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.
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.
It involves being approved as both foster carer and adopter, meaning that the role of foster carer will be performed while the courts decide whether or not the child can return to his/her birth family.
It is centred around the child and aimed to minimise change and create stability from an early stage in their lives.
Early Permanence FAQ
Early Permanence is a route to adoption which involves a child/ children being placed with prospective adopters, who are also approved as temporary foster carers. Whilst Early Permanence is often associated with babies, it can also be used for older children and sibling groups. This enables children to be looked after by early permanence carers whilst the family court determines whether the best thing for the child is to be adopted, or return to their birth family. For the child this provides the much needed care and stability, and building of relationships at the earliest stage
Early Permanence is a way of providing stability for a child. It is aimed at reducing moves and delay for children, ensuring that children are placed in what is likely to be their “forever” home earlier. This provides consistency and stability for them at an earlier stage which means that they can start to put down roots and settle. Children who experience inconsistency can struggle in all aspects of their lives- Early Permanence can make a big difference in their formative years. It is centred around the child and aimed to minimise change and create stability at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.
There are benefits for children having early permanence placements as well as for you as a prospective adoptive parent.
- The child will benefit from stability and continuity of care from the earliest possible stage, avoiding the possibility of multiple family placements and possible placement breakdowns.
- Early Permanence enables early bonds to be made and early attachment needs to be met.
- It allows for a permanent home to be found for the child as early as possible, with research showing that risks of developmental and behavioural difficulties lessen the earlier the child is placed with permanent carers.
- Early Permanence enables the early development of forming a secure attachment to their primary care giver.
For you (as a foster carer and prospective adopter)
- You will provide early stability, love and care to a baby or child, in a time of their life where they are extremely vulnerable. Regardless of the court outcome, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you have played a very important role.
- You will get to know the child sooner and if you do go on to adopt them you will have already established a bond and will be able to share early memories with them.
- There is the possibility of having a very young baby placed with you, even straight from hospital.
- You will get to know the birth family better through ‘family time’ contact sessions, which will give you a better understanding of a child’s birth family and history.
- You will be able to talk more meaningfully with the child about their birth family, and offer them real insight into their early experiences.
- Potentially develop relationships which can form the basis for meaningful contact in the future if it is deemed appropriate and all parties agree.
- To be emotionally robust and resilient, to cope with a level of uncertainty about the child’s future.
- To be able to cope with loss and have resolved losses in their own lives.
- To act as a foster carer and work with the birth family whilst looking after the child. This may involve meeting birth parents at family time.
- To be willing to adopt the child if that is the plan that is decided by the court.
The process to becoming an Early Permanence carer is very similar to becoming an adopter. You will be prepared and assessed as an adopter through an assessment with a social worker, where they will get to know you and you will consider what will be the best for you and your family. In addition your assessment will include additional training, preparing you to manage the fostering role and the uncertainty if the decision was made that a child would return to their family. The assessment will explore whether Early Permanence is the right route for you, and this will be agreed as part of your approval to be a prospective adopter. If selected for an Early Permanence placement you will be temporarily approved as a foster carer by the child’s placing Local Authority.
Selecting a placement is a two way process. The agency must be satisfied that the prospective Early Permanence carers understand the child’s situation and are in a position to meet the child’s needs, both in the long term and the short term. Although formal matching will not take place until after the court has made a Placement Order, the social worker still needs to consider long term issues when selecting an early permanence placement. At the same time, carers need to consider the needs of a particular child and decide whether they feel able to meet those needs, in both the short and potentially long term.
When full information is not always readily available about the child, we endeavour to give as much information as we have to enable you to make decisions to be matched as an early permanence carer for this child.
An Early Permanence placement can be considered for a child of any age.
In all cases, the court decides whether the child should return to his or her family or be adopted on the basis of all the evidence presented by the professionals and the family.
Yes you can.
Yes you can.
An Early Permanence carer is approved as a foster carer for the child they are caring for. For the period of time you are fostering you will receive a weekly allowance from the Local Authority.
Early Permanence carers are also entitled to take statutory adoption pay and statutory adoption leave from the time an Early Permanence placement is made, as well as a fostering fee.
We hold regular information events to talk about routes to adopting, including Early Permanence, where we would be happy to answer any questions. The events are optional, but we would encourage you to come along, meet the team and find out more.
Don’t worry if you can’t make any of the dates, just contact us on the below number or complete the enquiry form on our website and a member of our team will be in touch.
Got your own Questions? Please contact our team:
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