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Could you foster a baby or toddler with the possibility of adoption?
The Concurrency Care scheme is for babies and toddlers in care who are likely to need adoption, but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family.
Why concurrency care?
It protects the child and enables them to experience good quality, uninterrupted, consistent care as soon as possible while detailed assessments of the birth family are being made.
It offers the best hope of reducing future harm and promoting healthy development. It can also dramatically reduce the number of moves a child might otherwise have.
What does it involve?
Babies and toddlers up to the age of 2 are placed with specially-trained concurrency carers, who foster them. At the same time, the birth parents are given the opportunity to sort out their problems so the child can go back home.
If after a period of time, usually 40 weeks, the court decides a return to the birth family isn’t possible, the child is adopted by the concurrency carers who’ve already been prepared and approved as adoptive parents.
Why is it good for the child?
The child goes to live with potential adopters at the earliest opportunity, and can form an attachment to the family sooner. Because of special training, the concurrency carers are able to make a strong commitment to the child, even though there’s uncertainty about its future.
What are the benefits for the carer?
Concurrency carers have the immense satisfaction of providing stability and security for a baby or toddler at the crucial early stage of development – with the possibility that the infant may become their legally adopted child. Pilot schemes show that fewer concurrency adoptions are contested.
Thorough preparation and training is given, plus a high level of support from experienced members of staff. And carers get a fostering allowance to cover the costs of caring for the child until it either goes back home or is adopted.
How does it work?
Concurrency carers are specially selected, assessed and prepared. They go through the usual procedure for prospective adopters. After they’re approved by the Adoption Panel, they undergo a concurrency selection process that involves further training and assessment as foster carers.
If approved by the fostering panel they’re registered as concurrency carers – but aren’t available for any other fostering or adoption arrangements.
The carers now get information on children in the scheme so they can decide if they want to be considered for a particular one. Once a child is placed with them, they get as much information as possible about the child and its family background.
During the fostering phase, social workers will be working towards reuniting the child with its family. Regular supervised meetings between child and parents will be arranged.
If reunification is possible, the child goes back to its family, and support for the concurrency carers continues until they’ve decided what to do.
But if the plan is for adoption by the concurrency carers, the child remains with them, an adoption order is sought, and the Adoption Team continues its support.
Through concurrency care the baby or toddler will either be re-united with its birth family, or adopted by carers it has known from a very early age and who know its background.
Whatever happens, disruption and damage are kept to the absolute minimum, and the child’s best interests are given the highest priority.
To find out more about the Concurrency Care Scheme call 0845 155 1013