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Luton Borough Council

Early permanence (foster to adopt)


This journey is an alternative to the standard route taken for adoption. The aim is to achieve early permanence for children in care.

Specifically, 'early permanence' refers to a situation where children in care may be placed in a home at the earliest opportunity, by being placed with adopters who:

  • are also approved as foster carers
  • initially foster the child and may become their adopters once court proceedings have been concluded

Our process for early permanence

We place young children, usually under two years old and in our care, into an early permanence arrangement. Adopters identified for this route are dually approved as foster carers and as well as prospective adoptive parents.

We'll do this if the child is likely to be placed for adoption but there is still a chance they may return to their birth parent(s), or their families.

The court will make the final decision on the child’s future.

Benefits of early permanence

Early permanence placements help some of the most vulnerable children in care, by:

  • reducing the number of carers and times the child is moved from one home to another
  • providing the child with consistent care
  • allowing time for the court to decide on the best future for the child, by assessing their birth parents and family in detail
  • helping the child to develop positive relationships and attachments with the foster parents

How to become an early permanence carer

Early permanence carers receive dual approval as foster carers as well as prospective adopters. If you're interested in early permanence, the process is as follows:

  • you'll be expected to attend additional fostering training (skills to foster), alongside your adoption training
  • we'll carry out one assessment to approve you as both an adopter and foster carer at the same time

Being an early permanence carer can be a really rewarding experience, as you'll provide stability and care to a child who needs it.

You'll need the right skills and resilience to live with the uncertainty of whether the child may be returned to their birth family.

Support available for early permanence carers

If you decide to become an early permanence carer we'll support you with advice and practical support.

Your social workers will support you through the whole process – both the adoption side and the fostering task. They'll be with you all the way through to adoption panel and will also support you if the child leaves your care.

You'll get a fostering handbook with:

  • guidance
  • information
  • details of support groups and courses

You'll receive a weekly fostering allowance while you're  undertaking the fostering task, which will end if you adopt the child/ren. You can take adoption leave at the same time as the early permanence placement.

Contact us

If you have a query about fostering and would like to learn more, please contact the fostering team between 9am and 5.30pm.

Fostering team
T: 01582 547569

© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ