The Black Adoption Project – creating better futures for Black adopted children in London

Early Permanence

We need parents who can take on the responsibility of becoming foster carers to child, with the chance of going on to adopt them later, if the Courts decides that child should be adopted. Could that be you? It’s not something every parent can deal with.

What is Early Permanence?

Early Permanence also sometimes called Fostering for Adoption. It is used for children who are in the care of the local authority where the plan is likely to be adoption, but who have a chance of being reunited with their birth family.

Young couple in their late twenties laying on a picnic blanket blowing bubbles with their young child

What are the benefits of Early Permanence?

With Early Permanence children are placed with approved adopters who have been assessed and approved as temporary foster carers for the children. These carers will provide the day-to-day care for the children and will continue to work with the children’s social worker team to ensure that the children have all of their needs met.

Early Permanence protects children from experiencing multiple moves within the care system. It provides children with uninterrupted and consistent care while detailed assessments are completed, and decisions are made about the best plan for the children.

Early Permanence offers children the possibility of developing a secure attachment from the earliest possible moment, which is key to their emotional and mental development.

  • Early Permanence helps to avoid delay in deciding a child’s future
  • Children who are in the care system from a very young age are often moved around a number of foster carers, while the courts reach a decision about who will care for them in the long term. Early Permanence minimises disruption by placing a child early on with foster carers who would go on to adopt them, if the court decides that’s in the child’s best interests.
  • Early Permanence, provides children with a chance to bond much earlier with the people who may eventually become their permanent family.
  • 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 birth parents during the court process. This provides a great opportunity to get to know more about the child’s family background, and the circumstances that led to him or her being placed in care. This is also a benefit for contact and life story work if the child is adopted.

Contact with the birth family

With Early Permanence it is expected that you will help to ensure that the child has regular frequent supervised contact with their birth family, whilst the Courts assessments are completed. This is usually around 3 times a week.

Keeping some form of contact with a birth family generally benefits everyone involved and provides a sense of personal history, which is vital to a child’s developing sense of identity and helps them to integrate the past with the present. Click here for more information about the importance of maintaining contact with birth family members.

Is Early Permanence right for me? 

The children considered for Early Permanence are some of the most vulnerable in the care system. 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.

We only work with children where, due to the birth family’s past history, there is a probability that they will need adoption. But it is the Courts that make the final decision, and there will be occasions when it is decided that it is in the Child best interests for them to be returned to the birth family.

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

  • We will provide specialist preparation, with tailored workshops,
  • deliver intensive, high-quality support throughout the process of fostering and adoption, and beyond
  • help to ensure you are accessing fostering allowances and
  • plan and coordinate supervised contact visits with birth families at a neutral location.

Being realistic about what could happen

Early Permanence comes with the significant risk of having to return the child to their birth family you would have to manage this uncertainty while the court reaches a final decision.

During this time a support network will be important to you, as Early Permanence placements can be difficult to manage, and you will need to think about the possibility of the child returning to their birth family.

You will need to work together with the Court, social workers and the child’s local authority during this period in the most sensitive way for the child.

Do you want to speak to someone?

Let us help you to find the advice you need


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