By Elizabeth Monck, Jill Reynolds and Valerie Wigfall.
BAAF Adoption and Fostering
Concurrent planning was first developed in the USA to try to tackle the problems of young children spending long periods in care before permanent plans were made. Based on some of the USA experience, three projects were set up in the late 1990s to introduce concurrent planning into Britain, two by voluntary adoption agencies, and one in a social services department.
The book reports on the findings of an evaluation of the projects. It sets the programmes in the context of research findings concerning children in care and adoption, providing information about the philosophy and principles underlying the social work practice.
The findings demonstrate that while the concurrent planning model does achieve permanence within tight time scales, the difficulties and emotions involved for birth families, concurrent carers and social workers remain.
It also emphasises the need to be clear with birth families about what needs to change, and how to support and enable this change process.
The book should stimulate discussion about if and how to develop and expand concurrency planning as part of a range of options for children.
Elizabeth Webb is team manager (adoption), Adolescent and Children’s Trust.