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Permanency options for approved Leeds foster carers

The following information is provided for foster carers already approved with Leeds City Council: 

Research shows that the most stable and beneficial placements for looked after children are with long term carers. Where children know that their carers are committed to bringing them up to adulthood they are able to put down roots and concentrate on other aspects of their lives. This generally results in better educational, health and social outcomes for children. It is important that carers are aware of the different routes to permanency and can, with other professionals working with the child, to find the best permanency option to meet the child’s individual needs.

Residence Orders

A Residence Order is an order made by the court that decides who a child should live with. Parental responsibility is granted to those with a Residence Order and they are able to make day to day decisions in the best interests of the child.
This is a good order to think about where the children have regular contact with the birth parents and carers feel they are able to negotiate with and include them in important decisions.

Special Guardianship Orders

A Special Guardianship Order is an order made by the court that grants parental responsibility to the Special Guardian(s). The birth parents’ legal link to the child remains but their ability to exercise parental responsibility is limited. Special
Guardians can make all of the day to day decisions regarding the child. This order provides stability for the child and is appropriate where the child’s relationship with birth parents is either limited or unsettled. Special Guardianship Orders demonstrate your commitment to the child until adulthood, while acknowledging the continuing role of the parent, even if this is in a limited way.


Adoption is a legal and binding court order, which cannot be challenged, and which permanently transfers all parental rights and responsibilities from the birth parents to the adoptive parents. This is a huge step to take and should be considered as
particularly suitable for younger children or where an older child has a strong sense of belonging to your family and wants to be adopted by you.  On-going contact with members of the birth family may be negotiated and is often in the form of annual
letterbox contact, with or without photographs, or sometimes it is direct face to face contact.

Further information

If you are a foster carer or a kinship carer with us you may want information about how the child you care for can stay with you permanently. You can find out more about these options by downloading permanency options: A guide for foster carers in pdf format from this page.

We provide access to counselling, advice and information to all Special Guardians and other relevant parties.