Interested in adopting or fostering a baby in London? Consider concurrent planning

Published: Wednesday 20th April 2016

Children’s charity and leading adoption agency Coram is calling for people who live within an hour of central London and who are interested in adopting or fostering to consider giving babies a great start in life through Concurrent Planning

Concurrent Planning involves fostering a baby who is subject to care proceedings and who may need longer term care through adoption in the future.  This approach is extremely effective when the likelihood of a baby needing adoption in the future is high (in excess of 80%) and ensures greater stability for very young children who have being born into incredibly challenging circumstances, such as their mother being addicted to drugs or alcohol in pregnancy.

Alice Noon, Coram’s Head of Adoption in London, says: “Concurrent planning is a win win offer for babies and very young children, giving them the best chance they can of recovering from adversity.

“Carers are approved to both foster and adopt, so that they can look after the babies at the earliest point, sometimes straight from hospital. 

“The baby then has a chance to settle into a family from the earliest opportunity, avoiding further broken attachments. Even if the court decides they should return to their birth family, they will have had regular contact with them and so the disruption for them will be less. 

"There are occasions when birth parents can recover and make positive changes to their lives, so that the courts decide they can safely care for their baby. Coram supports all concurrent carers not only to be ready for that outcome, but also to accept that the first choice for any child is to live safely with their birth family if that is possible.

“Therefore concurrent planning requires special people who are totally committed to giving a vulnerable baby or toddler the best start in life and are prepared to take an emotional risk to make this possible. We are looking for people who understand, and be sensitive to, the challenges faced by families where care proceeding are in place and who have at their heart the child’s very best interests.”

Concurrent planning has been successful in London for over 15 years and with the Government’s backing, Coram has rolled it out to over 20 local authorities across the country.

A study of Coram’s Concurrent Planning proejct reported that 5% of babies reunified with their birth families.

The principles of early planning for children’s long term care were highlighted in the Government’s policy paper Adoption – A Vision for Change in March this year. 

Concurrent planning was also encouraged by the Government in 2012 in its Adoption Action Plan as an important way of providing consistency for children who may otherwise be moved between foster carers while legal decisions are being reached their future. 

To speak to a member of Coram’s London Adoption team please call 020 7520 0383.  Email [email protected]

Useful links

More about Concurrent Planning