Caritas Care

Adoption: What is early permanence and why is it important for children?

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Adoption: What is early permanence and why is it important for children?

Early Permanence placements allow babies and young children who may need adopting to be placed with a potential permanent family earlier than a conventional adoption.

What is Early Permanence?

Early Permanence is an umbrella term we use when talking about certain types of adoption placements for babies or toddlers. It includes placements also referred to as Fostering for Adoption (FfA) and Concurrent Planning.

Early Permanence enables a baby or young child in care to find foster carers who are ready and willing to adopt them later, if the courts decide they cannot be cared for permanently by their birth family.

What are the benefits of Early Permanence?

Avoiding delay

Early Permanence helps to prevent delay in deciding a young child’s future, at a time in their life when days and weeks really matter.

Minimising disruption

Early permanence removes disruption by placing a child early with foster carers who will go on to adopt them, should a plan of adoption be decided by the court.

This gives a seamless transition from foster care to adoption, without having to move from a foster home where they have settled to a new adoptive family.

A chance to bond earlier

With Early Permanence, a child can start bonding much earlier with the people who may eventually adopt him or her, giving better attachment outcomes.

Better understanding of a child’s background

Foster carers who go on to adopt a child will often have had a chance to get to know the baby’s birth family during the assessment process through family time (contact). They will get to know more about the child’s background and the circumstances that led to him or her being placed in care. This gives adopted children a better understanding of their history and a greater opportunity to develop a strong sense of identity.

Is Early Permanence right for you?

To be an Early Permanence carer, you need to be able to prioritise a child’s needs and give them the precious gift of stability at a time of great uncertainty in their lives. You, as an adult(s) are taking the uncertainty away from the child. You will need to be resilient and adaptable, with an understanding that there is a possibility that reunification with birth family may be decided by the court, to be in the best interest of the child.

We will work with you to prepare you for this outcome in a range of ways:

  • Specialist preparation, with tailored workshops
  • Intensive, high-quality support throughout the process of fostering and adoption, and beyond
  • Help to access fostering allowances
  • Supervised visits with birth families

Could you be an Early Permanence carer?

If you’re unsure whether early permanence is for you – or have further questions, our social workers will be happy to help so please get in touch on 0800 652 6955 or complete the enquiry form opposite.

We look forward to meeting you!


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