Sandra Latter

What is the Outbound Permanence Service?

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The Children Act 1989 England and Wales places a duty on local authorities to promote the upbringing of children within their families so far as this is consistent with their welfare. For children in care, this may include consideration of placement with family members living abroad. However, there is no uniform guide on how to place children overseas. 

If you haven't previously arranged for a child to be placed in a specific country and are unsure about the necessary procedures, there isn't a clear or straightforward course of action to take. 

The Outbound Permanence Service joined CoramBAAF in July 2023. We began in 2016 with an initial grant from the DfE, and over the past eight years have responded to over 2,000 referrals from local authorities. Our remit is to provide information, advice, resources and training to local authorities’ professionals considering the placement of children in care with kinship carers overseas on all legal orders. We have amassed a wealth of information, knowledge and experience to share with you via our advice service for individual cases, our training, and the professional meetings we attend.  

We are keen to promote good practice for these often-over-looked cohort of children and part of our work has been to raise awareness, having previously presented on legal issues to the judiciary, ran two conferences on overseas placements, and given feedback to the Department for Education for the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, and the Public Law Working Group for adoption consultation. Our Practice Note on initial considerations for placing children overseas, under final review and will be added to our website soon.

We provide: 

  • a written response laying out the legal and assessment options 
  • ISW and lawyer details 
  • 30-minute consultations on specific cases with our legal researcher 
  • Country Guides on popular countries 
  • Viability guide with an overseas focus 
  • Guides to the Convention Adoption process 
  • An overseas kinship carer’s leaflet explaining the UK process 
  • Workshops on Special Guardianship Orders, Convention Adoption, and Viability and Support Plans  
  • Bespoke training 

We will be hosting a webinar on 17 April at 12.30pm - 1.15pm about the Outbound Permanence Service. We will cover everything you need to know about accessing our advice and information. We will also be covering some initial considerations for placing children overseas. This webinar will be free for members.

The service will be free to CoramBAAF members who are local authority and RAA members in England, local authority and regional collaborative members in Wales, and Health and Social Care Trust members in Northern Ireland from 1 April 2024. For more information contact membership@corambaaf.org.uk

To send a referral to the Outbound Permanence Service, complete this form

Sandra Latter, Specialist Adviser, Outbound Permanence Service, CoramBAAF