PEOPLE in East Lancashire are being urged to consider a new kind of adoption being pioneered in the county.

Lancashire County Council now offers concurrent planning, where adopters act as foster carers for a baby before formally adopting it.

Lancashire is the first council in the North West, and one of only a handful in the country, to use concurrent planning and so far a dozen babies have been placed through the programme, launched a year ago.

Catrina Dickens, who leads the project, said: “Sometimes babies come into our care at birth or soon after and they are looked after by foster carers while we work with their parents to see if they can go home.

“If this isn’t possible, the court process can take many months, and after that of course the baby has to move again, to his or her adoptive parents.

“Concurrent planning places a baby or very young child straight away with their prospective adopters, who are also approved to act as foster carers, while the birth family is assessed and the court makes a decision.”

For more about adoption and concurrent planning, call 0800 028 6349, or visit