New parents sometimes need extra help. We need foster carers to be on hand to help develop the parents’ skills, so they can learn from you. Parent and child foster placements are typically 12 weeks long but may last longer.
What parents need from a foster placement
Some parents might lack confidence in their abilities to be a parent to a new baby. They might have to overcome gaps in their own knowledge and experience. Some might not yet know what normal family life looks like. Others might be struggling with disabilities.
With parent and child fostering, it’s the role of the foster carer to help them overcome their disadvantages and feel confident in their abilities as parents.
It’s also about satisfying the local authority that the parent under your care can look after their child properly. In these cases, a foster carer will help to assess a parent’s ability and will submit records of daily observations and specified monitoring.
What you get from parent and child fostering
These placements have been described as “intense” but very rewarding. We all know how babies need our attention – and this situation is very similar, except you will also be mentoring and sometimes an older child will be involved rather than a baby. Some of the parents that need help will be fast learners; others might need high levels of support.
In addition to the hands-on mentoring, you’ll also be required to write detailed reports as you go along, which will be used by the local authority. You might need to problem-solve by drawing on your own creativity and personal skills to support the parent and child in the best way for them.
If you’re interested in parent and child foster placements, you will need experience of previous fostering or of supporting a young mother, father or parents with high needs who are caring for their own child.
Our parent and child foster carers don’t do this alone: National Fostering Group provides excellent support and training. You have a dedicated Supervising Social Worker who is backed by an experienced local team, access to 24/7 advice and excellent training delivered in your area.
If you think this type of fostering would suit you, please enquire now.
Experiences of parent and child fostering
Louise and Mark have done several parent and child foster placements, and each has demanded something different of them.
They helped a new young mum who was very anxious and stayed for 10 months until she had come along enough to get her own home.
Another new mum had experienced a brain injury when a child herself; not only did Louise and Mark help her with her parenting skills, they empowered her by helping her understand her case more, so she could become more active in the decisions being made.
“It’s about being there as you would be with your own children and grandchildren, and being there as an extended family for those who have never had a supportive family around them,” says Louise. Read the full version of Louise and Mark’s parent and child foster story.
Start your fostering journey with National Fostering Group