New practical guidance has been published to help local authorities implement ‘Fostering for Adoption' with the aim of ensuring more children can live with their potential permanent carers at the earliest possible stage of the adoption process.
The guidance, commissioned by UK children's charity Coram and written by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering, has been produced for social workers, agency decision makers and all involved in permanence planning.
Fostering for Adoption, which is among a range of new measures from the Department for Education to improve fostering and adoption, allows those who want to adopt children to foster them while they are waiting for the court to decide if adoption is the right plan for the child. This would provide continuity of care for the child, as they would not have to be placed with temporary foster carers.
Funded by the Department for Education, the guidance sets out the principles of Fostering for Adoption, the situations where it could apply, and what those involved need to do to ensure that it works well.
Renuka Jeyarajah-Dent, Coram's Director of Operations and Programme Lead for the Coram Centre for Early Permanence, said: "This voluntary guidance aims to offer a balanced approach, explaining where Fostering for Adoption fits into the changing landscape of delivery. Its practice employs the same principles of early placement as concurrent planning, which Coram has pioneered since 1999".