Becoming an adoptive parent

8. Early Permanence

Sometimes we will place young children (usually younger than two) in our care into ‘early permanence’ arrangements with specially trained carers. This will be done if the child is likely to be adopted but there is still a chance they may return to their birth parent(s), or their families. The court will make the final decision on the child’s future. We try to only use Early Permanence when it seems likely the child will not return to their birth family, but there is always a chance they will.

Benefits of early permanence

Early permanence placements help some of the most vulnerable babies and children in care, by:

  • reducing the number of times the child is moved from one home to another
  • providing the child with constant and consistent care
  • allowing time for the court to decide on the best future for the child, by assessing their birth family in detail
  • helping the child to develop a relationship with the foster parents who may eventually adopt them, as early as possible

How to become an early permanence carer

Early permanence carers need to be approved foster carers as well. If you are interested in early permanence, we can offer some fostering training alongside your adoption training. Then we will carry out one assessment to approve you as both an adopter and foster carer at the same time.
Being an early permanence carer can be a really rewarding experience, as you will provide stability and care to a child who needs it. However, you will need the right skills and strength to live with the uncertainty of whether the child may be returned to their birth family.

Support available for early permanence carers

If you decide to become an early permanence carer we will support you with advice and practical support:

  • two social workers will support you through the whole process – one for the adoption side and one for fostering. They will be with you all the way through to adoption panel, or if the child leaves your care
  • you will get a fostering handbook with guidance, information, and details of support groups and courses
  • a weekly fostering allowance will be provided to you while you are fostering the child, which will end if you adopt them. You can take adoption leave at the same time as the early permanence placement

If you would like to talk further about early permanence, contact us on 01494 586349 or adoption@buckscc.gov.uk, or book on to one of our information sessions to hear more.

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Last updated: 9 October 2019

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