Early Permanency – which is similar to ‘foster to adopt’ or 'the concurrency process' – is a route to adoption which involves fostering a baby or child prior to legally adopting them.
In One Adoption North and Humber, Early Permanence Placements (EPP) are for children who may be unable to be safely cared for by their birth parents and who need at least a short period in local authority care. It is likely that the child will need to be adopted, but they still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family.
Early permanence placements seek to prevent changes in placements for very young children at a very sensitive time in their development and growth, by placing the baby/child with an approved adopter who can foster the child while assessments and court proceedings are ongoing. The prospective adopter provides the short-term fostering placement and will then go on to adopt the child if the court agrees the plan for the child to be adopted.
Early permanence offers prospective adopters the opportunity to parent a baby from birth or soon after, enabling them to be part of the baby’s/child’s life from the beginning and to parent a child from an earlier age, therefore not missing key stages of the child’s development.
The carers in this route to adoption need to be happy to be approved as foster carers, as well as adopters, as they will be fostering the child for the first phase of the placement when care/court proceedings and assessments of birth family are ongoing. The carers also need to be able to accept the uncertainty associated with this and be prepared to return the child to birth family if the court decides that is the best plan for the child’s future.