Caven blog

Councils to use fast-track scheme to boost adoption

Two local authorities are to implement ‘concurrent planning’ in a bid to boost their adoption numbers and decrease the number of children left in care for long periods of time.

The plans to incorporate the scheme at Cambridge County Council and Kent County Council were announced at the launch of a new report on adoption by former chief executive of Barnardo’s Martin Neary, compiled at the request of The Times.

Concurrent planning allows a child to be placed with prospective adoptive parents from the day they are taken into care. It has been shown to increase the chance of a successful adoption where the child is placed with their permanent family from the outset, minimising disruption.

In addition, it has been shown to increase the overall numbers of adoptions and decrease the amount of time children have to wait in foster care, which can be months or years, before they are found a new home.

Concurrent planning requires the potential adoptive parents to initially act as foster parents to the child. This means they may have to facilitate contact with the birth parents if necessary. However, if the local authority decides the birth parents cannot care for the child, the foster parents can adopt the child, who is already in their care.

If the local authority decides the birth parents can care for the child, the prospective adoptive parents will have to return the child to them.

The two local authorities will be working with Coram, a children’s charity which has pioneered the scheme.

Mr Neary, who last week became the Government’s first ministerial advisor on adoption, said that the decline in the number of successful adoptions can be attributed to a number of factors. One of these, he said, was the excessive number of second chances given to dysfunctional families by social workers and local authorities.

He welcomed the support for the concurrent planning scheme.

Related Links:

Read more about adoption in the UK (Caven)
Find local family solicitors throughout the UK (Caven)

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