New guidance on ‘fostering for adoption’

Children|News|June 24th 2013

Family on hillThe British Association for Adoption and Fostering  (BAAF) has published new guidance on ‘fostering for adoption’ for local authorities.

The guidance, commissioned by the Coram Children’s Legal Centre, sets out the key principles of this new government scheme, which allows people interested in adopting a child to foster them before the adoption is finalised. This usually provides greater continuity and stability for the child, allowing them to avoid the disruptions of temporary foster care.

The guide was funded by Department for Education and is aimed at social workers and other decision makers involved in children’s services.

A leaflet has also been produced for potential adopters who may be interest in initial fostering.

John Simmons is Director of Policy, Research & Development at BAAF. He said:

“The current arrangements expect children to move from placement to placement until a permanent family is found, despite everything that suggests that this is damaging to children. Fostering for Adoption is intended to minimise these moves and the damage it causes. The publication of this guidance sets out how this can be achieved as a fair, evidence based and just solution – it is a child centred opportunity that is not to be missed.”

Photo by Calotype46 via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

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  1. ThreeBecomeFour says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. This is such a good idea although for us as recent second timers wasn’t something we felt would be beneficial for our adopted daughter because of the small degree of uncertainty about whether the adoption placement will be granted after the foster part of the placement. We would have considered this more as first time adopters though.

  2. Prospective adoptive mummy says:

    Fostering and Adoption are two very different rules. A foster carer knows that the children will move on. Adoptive parents crave to be forever mummies and daddies. Many decide upon adoption through years of infertility and desperately wanting to have a family.
    In theory foster to adopt offers a great opportunity for children to be with forever families as soon as they come into care. However for the adoptive parents there is not a small chance that this may never happen but a reality that through the care proceedings that several members of birth family are being assessed and a year down the line the child
    may be returned to not birth parents but extended family members.
    What needs to be considered then is – emotional needs and ability then of adoptive parents. They have invested love
    , time and hope into this being a forever placement. They are cruelly faced with a situation where they need to hand the child back. If they go on to the next placement – can they invest the same love, time and hope into that placement? Will they hold back because of how they have been hurt before? Does the next child deserve that?

    Don’t get me wrong, like I said in theory this is a good solution for children in care when it is thought they will be placed for adoption.

    As a prospective adoptive parent though I know that forming a bond with a child when I am clear in mind that I want to a forever family and not a foster carer and then there is a great risk that I have to hand the child back is not something I could do.

    The government needs to address the care proceedings procedure too not just change legislation to make it appear adoptive placements are found sooner so that statically they can show that they have reduced the numbers of children that are awaiting adoptive family placements.

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