Independent Adoption Agencies Caritas Care and Adoption Matters have launched their partnership service, Concurrent Planning, in the Staffordshire and Stoke area. The joint initiative, which is the largest service of its kind in the country, has successfully placed more than 70 babies and young children with Concurrent Carers across the North West and is hoping to repeat this success in the region.
Concurrent planning is an alternative route to adoption combining both fostering and adoption together to achieve the best outcomes for very young babies and children. With this innovative service rehabilitation to birth family is a possible outcome, however, if this is not possible the outcome is adoption. Approved as both foster carers and adopters, the child is placed in foster care with the concurrent carers until the decision regarding their future is made by the courts, the child will then either be adopted by the concurrent carers or returned to birth parents.
Cathy Sowden, Concurrent Planning Service Manager said
“We make sure all our carers are made fully aware of the possibility that the child may be returned to the care of their birth family and that they are able to manage uncertainty. They are continually supported and prepared through our intensive training and support. This means that more children experience stability from a very early age and are given the best possible start in life.
We are thrilled to launch our Concurrent Planning service in the Stafford and Stoke region and to have the opportunity to find families to for babies and young children.
We look forward to building on our excellent working relationship with the local authority.”
The Concurrent Planning service allows 0 – 4 year olds to be cared for by people already approved as both foster carers and adopters. Carers foster the children whilst the Courts make a decision about their future.
If the Courts agree to adoption as the best option for the child, the Concurrent Carers continue to care for the child, but as adoptive parents, thereby minimising moves and protecting the attachments which these young and vulnerable children have made with their carers.
Sue Spruce, Team Manager for the Stafford and Stoke service said,
“Concurrent Planning puts the interests, long-term happiness and stability of children first at every stage. It’s the adults who need to cope with the uncertainty rather than babies and young children.
It is evident that concurrent planning works and we want those who have considered adoption, now or in the past to consider coming forward as Concurrent Carers. “