Call for potential parents who want to adopt to consider fostering first

Posted on: 5 October 2015

Devon County Council is calling for potential parents who want to adopt to consider fostering first under new plans to help reduce disruption to children in care.

Babies and children, who are likely to be adopted, can wait months in foster care sometimes moving from carer to carer.  Devon Adoption has introduced the Government-led ‘foster to adopt’ scheme to protect these children from experiencing multiple moves within the care system and provide them with good quality, uninterrupted and consistent care, while detailed assessments of their birth family are completed the Court decides on the plan for their permanent care.

The scheme is used for babies and children who are in the county council’s care where the plan is likely to be adoption, but who still have a chance of being reunited with their birth family, although the majority of children do go on to be adopted.

Cllr James McInnes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Devon Adoption, said:

“We are looking for special families who want to adopt and can give a child a loving home, but are willing to be temporary carers until the final decision is made for the child.

“Having prospective adoptive parents who are willing to foster first offers children care, stability and love at an uncertain time in their lives, which is invaluable.

“It also means children live with their potential adopters at the earliest opportunity so they can develop healthy attachments to their new family sooner and reduces possible future harm.

“We appreciate that what we are asking isn’t easy. Fostering to adopt requires a strong commitment and emotional resilience and willingness to be able to offer a child a loving and nurturing home whilst living with the uncertainty that the child may be returned to their birth family.

“But the rewards are immeasurable. There is the immense satisfaction of providing stability and security for a child at the early stage of their development, with the possibility of them becoming their legally adopted child.

“Your ability to care is what matters most. So if you think you could care for a child and maybe become their forever family, then get in touch today – we have children waiting to be adopted in Devon right now.”

How does the ‘foster to adopt’ scheme work?

The scheme works by placing babies and children with approved adopters who have been assessed and approved as temporary foster carers for the child. The foster to adopt carers will provide the day to day care for the child and will continue to work with the child’s social worker to ensure that the child has all of their needs met.

At the same time, the child’s social worker will continue working with and assessing the child’s birth parents to see if they have made the changes needed to have the child returned to their care. The Court will make the final decision on the plan for the child. If the decision is that the child should be adopted then foster to adopt carers can go to an adoption matching panel and if panel agree, will become the adopters for the child. Alternatively, if the Court decides that the child should be returned to their birth family then the child is returned.

People like you foster to adopt…

Rachel and Ben from Exeter are almost at the end of their foster to adopt journey, with their application to adopt 26 week old Chloe due to be decided on by the courts at the end of October. Read their story here.

Louise and Neil from East Devon are also adopting through Devon Adoption on the foster to adopt programme.  Read their story here.

Start your foster to adopt story…

More information about the scheme is available online along with details of how to get in touch with Devon Adoption.

Adopters and adopted children, The Quay Exeter

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