Early Permanence for Young Children

You may have heard the term Early Permanence Plans (EPP) being used in adoption. It refers to the situation where children may be placed in a home at the earliest opportunity by being placed with adopters who are also approved as foster carers, who initially foster the child and may become their adopters once the court proceedings have been concluded.

adopted boys doing homeworkThere are currently two early permanence plans – Concurrent Planning and Fostering for Adoption. They are for babies and young children in care whose circumstances are such that they have a high risk of being unable to return safely to the care of their birth families. They are likely to need adoption but still have a chance of being reunited with their birth families. If the court decides a child’s future is best protected by adoption the child already has a secure attachment to their carers who are now able to adopt the child.

Research shows that the longer the delay and the greater the number of foster placements, the greater the potential for damage to children’s mental health and development. Concurrent planning and Fostering for Adoption are intended to lay the foundations for greatly improved health and emotional wellbeing throughout the child’s life by giving more stability during the vital early years of development.

Concurrent Planning and Fostering for Adoption are already showing positive results in limiting delay and securing better outcomes for children where adoption is the likely path to permanence.