50 Babies given the best start thanks to Specialist Adoption Programme (Adoption Matters/Caritas Care)

Members of the NW Concurrent Planning Service together with Adoption Matters & Caritas Care Chief Executive’s Norman Goodwin, CBE & Amanda Forshaw.

North West independent adoption agencies Caritas Care and Adoption Matters are delighted to have made their fiftieth placement with their partnership service, Concurrent Planning.

In 2014, the two adoption agencies joined forces after recognising a need for a service that focused on providing the best possible outcome 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.

Cathy Sowden, North West concurrent planning manager, said; ‘Our concurrent carers are approved as both foster carer and adopter. They perform the role of foster carers while the courts decide whether or not a child can return to his or her birth family.’

She added; ‘We’re delighted that in just three years, we have placed 50 babies with concurrent carers, supported six returning back home to their birth families, found permanent families for 33 and currently have 11 living with concurrent carers awaiting outcome from the courts.

‘Concurrency is totally centred in ensuring the best outcome for the child. All of our carers are prepared and supported every step of the way. Whatever the outcome, both the service and our carers have the knowledge and contentment that they have given the child a really good start in life.’

Concurrent carer Kerry told us; “With concurrent planning it means the children will have this great start whether they stay with you or go back to live with their birth parents.  At least you know that it’s the right thing for them and that you have given them the best start you can.”

There’s a growing demand for concurrent carers and adopters across the country. Although there’s been a lot of recent campaigning for adopters to step forward due to the increasing need for older children, there are still babies who need permanent families. Concurrent planning is another route to achieving this.

The organisations work hard with concurrent carers to prepare them  – either for the child returning to their birth family,  or remaining with the carers and becoming part of their own family through adoption.  One in five children do return home and so the organisations put strategies in place so carers are totally prepared and emotionally equipped to deal with this, should the situation arise. Nearly all carers who supported a child returning to their birth family, returned to the organisations to do it again.

To find out how more about concurrent planning, contact the team on 0161 743 3682 email: info@nwconcurrentplanning.org.uk  or visit the website.

Published in Meet the agencies News & media round-up on May 19, 2017