Friday, 6 July 2012

Early Permanence for Babies and Children - a response to David Cameron's statement

Early today, Prime Minister David Cameron announced a 'foster to adopt' plan which would see new-born babies being taken into care fostered by people who want to adopt them. Here, BAAF's Chief Executive David Holmes responds to the Government.

"The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) fully supports the policy objective of aiming wherever possible to place babies and young children with carers who may become the child's potential permanent carers as early as possible. We know that this is in the developmental interests of vulnerable children and will minimise any disruption to the child as long term decisions are made.

"All children in care need clear plans for permanence and this policy has the potential to be applicable to a wide group of children. BAAF thinks that there is a real advantage in the Government consulting on a change to the law that places a duty on local authorities to place with carers who may become the child's permanent carers. Such a placement will always in the first instance be a temporary foster care placement with family and friends carers or 'stranger carers'. Only when the court agrees, will that placement be secured through an adoption order, special guardianship, a residence order or for some permanent foster care. It is also important that return to the child’s parents is always the first option wherever this is possible.

"These proposals will be demanding to implement responsibly. They will require well trained, knowledgeable and well-resourced professionals, properly informed and supported carers and the support of the courts and judiciary."

For more info and advice on adoption and fostering, visit the main BAAF website.

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