New adoption method puts children first in Leeds

Babies and young children are being given new stability in their lives thanks to a new approach to fostering and adoption.

The campaign has already led to more than 70 babies and young children being placed with Concurrent Carers in the North West.

An innovative approach to ensuring the most vulnerable of children receive the family love they need has been launched in Leeds.

Two independent adoption agencies, Caritas Care and Adoption Matters, have joined forces to launch a new system which aims to provide stability for children while key decisions over their future are ironed out.

Their partnership service, Concurrent Planning, combines both fostering and adoption, and has already led to more than 70 babies and young children being placed with Concurrent Carers in the North West.

Under the process, children from birth up to four years old can be placed with people who have already gone through the demanding process of being approved as both foster carers and adopters.

They foster the child while the courts decide whether or not rehabilitation to their birth family is the best option.

If the court decides adoption would provide a better future, the Concurrent Carers seamlessly take on the role of adoptive parents.

The streamlined system is intended to minimise disruption in the infant’s life protects the attachments they have made with their carers.

Cathy Sowden, concurrent planning service manager said: “We make sure all our carers are made fully aware of the possibility that the child may be returned to the care of their birth family and that they are able to manage uncertainty.

“They are continually supported and prepared through our intensive training and support. This means that more children experience stability from a very early age and are given the best possible start in life.

“We are thrilled to launch our Concurrent Planning service in the Leeds area and to have the opportunity to find families to for babies and young children.

We look forward to building on our excellent working relationship with the local authority.”

Kate Knowles, team manager for the Leeds area said: “Concurrent Planning puts the interests, long-term happiness and stability of children first at every stage. It’s the adults who need to cope with the uncertainty rather than babies and young children.

“It is evident that concurrent planning works and we want those who have considered adoption, now or in the past to consider coming forward as Concurrent Carers.”

Both Adoption Matters and Caritas Care have a long record of providing foster care and adoption services for families and children throughout the north west.

Could you offer a child a loving home? The Concurrent Planning team is holding regular information events. Click here for further details, or call 0300 123 1050.

For a chance to listen to real carers talk about adopting a child via Concurrent Planning click here.