Parent and child fostering is a type of fostering where parents can be supported alongside their children within a foster family. This usually involves placing a baby or child, along with either one or both parents, in a foster home where they can learn to cope with parenthood in safe and secure environment. In many cases the parent has become a parent at a very young age and, for one reason or another, cannot remain in their own homes.
What are the benefits of parent and child fostering?
Parent and child fostering brings with it benefits for both the child and parents involved. Firstly, the child or infant benefits from being in a stable family environment and usually the mother gains invaluable emotional support as well as learning the skills required for motherhood, such as how to hold or feed a baby. Young mothers may also have the opportunity to carry on with their studies and complete schooling with the extra support provided.
What is required of a foster carer?
The fostering assessment and matching process are thorough and will always aim to place a parent and child in the best possible foster family. To be an effective foster carer in a parent and child fostering placement, there are numerous qualities and skills a person needs. These include:
• The ability to treat new parents with sensitivity
• Assertiveness and the confidence to lead by example
• Observational skills and the willingness to observe and record how the parent looks after the child, whilst being unobtrusive
• Patience and encouragement when passing on advice and parenting skills
Foster carers stay in close communication with the supporting social worker and are expected to contribute to reviews and meetings to report on the progress of the placement. By providing a consistent support network the aim is that the child and parent are given the best possible chance to grow and develop in a nurturing environment.
Looking for a parent and child fostering placement?
If you work as part of a local authority in need of parent and child foster carers, UK Fostering can help. Our foster carers are given a comprehensive training programme with a high level of professional support whenever they need it. Call us or request a call back from our homepage, and we’ll do our best to provide you with all the information you need.