Concurrent planning is a way of finding permanent families for babies and children under two who have been removed from their birth family, and who may either be adopted, or go back to their birth parents.
How does concurrent planning work?
A concurrent carer will be the child’s foster carer while the court decides on the best option for the child. During that time, the child is likely to have frequent contact with their birth parents as part of the assessment to decide if they can safely go home, and the concurrent carer will support the birth family in regaining the care of their child.
If the court decides to return the child to their birth family, the concurrent carer will have the satisfaction of knowing they have given these children the best possible start in life by providing care and security from the earliest time. They will also help them settle back into their birth family.
If the decision is made that the child’s birth parents are unable to care for them and there are no alternative carers, then the child will remain with their concurrent carer who will go on to adopt them.
How do I become a concurrent carer?
In order to become a concurrent carer, you need to be emotionally resourceful and able to put the needs of very young children first. You will need to be able to respect and work with the child’s birth family in order to support them.
The process of being assessed and approved is very similar to that of becoming an adopter or a foster carer. Concurrent carers will be prepared, trained and assessed both as adopters and foster carers.
At the end of the assessment, the family’s social worker will prepare a report which will need to be presented to both a fostering panel and an adoption panel or in some agencies a permanence panel which can make a recommendation on both approvals..
The panel will make a recommendation about the family’s suitability to become prospective adopters and concurrent foster carers. The agency’s decision maker will then make the final decision.