Fostering adopters – dual approval

Tower Hamlets’ will soon be introducing a new dual approval scheme which will simultaneously approve applicants as foster carers and adopters. All dual approval applicants will be open to consider adopting or fostering children of all ages with a range of needs.

Across the country, there has been a significant reduction in the numbers of children coming forward for adoption. This is because of a number of reasons, including an increase in Special Guardianship Orders being made so that children remain within their extended family. Additionally, courts are making more rulings for children to be placed in long-term fostering placements so that they are able to maintain a level of contact with their birth families.

Dual approval will aim to give greater flexibility to families to consider a wider range of children who need long-term care. Fostering adopters will be able to consider fostering, adopting or fostering with a view of adopting a child at a later date.

Below are 2 scenarios of situations where children have been placed with fostering adopters:

Scenario 1
A family who hoped to adopt set their hearts on a 3 year old girl. The courts rejected adoption as her care plan and instead requested that she be long-term fostered to maintain links with her birth family. The family went on to care for the child under a fostering placement and remain committed to her care long-term, embracing her as part of their family. Depending on the future, the family may be able to put in an application to adopt, as there are circumstances when foster carers can adopt a child they are fostering.

Scenario 2
A 5 year old boy who had experienced severe neglect and displaying challenging behaviour was unable to be matched with an adoptive family. By placing him with a dual approval family under a fostering arrangement, the family were able to access crucial support, training and therapeutic intervention as they all got to know each other. After 2 years of intensive support, the placement has become stable and the boy is much happier and behaving well. The family now plan to make an application to adopt.

If you are interested in finding out more this exciting new scheme, please contact Vicky Seyforth on 020 7364 5432 or email

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