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What is Parent and Child Fostering? The short-term care with life-changing impact

Parent & Child Fostering - Types of Foster Care

We take a look at Parent and Child Fostering, and how this 12-week placement can change the lives of entire families


Research tells us that fostering can have an enormous positive impact on the wellbeing of a child or young person. Parent and Child Fostering is one such strand of fostering which enables birth parent/s to demonstrate how they can continue to meet the basic needs of their child/ren whilst ensuring the child is adequately safeguarded from any risk of harm. This type of provision also adheres to the Children Act 1989 (Gov.uk) mantras of ‘Minimal intervention’ and ‘ A child should remain with its birth parents, wherever possible’.

This specialist type of fostering is incredibly rewarding. It allows carers from all walks of life to share their parenting expertise whilst teaching critical life skills such as cooking and budgeting. It can change the lives of whole families for the better by giving them the supported opportunity to prepare for parenthood by learning everything others might take for granted. Parents needing this type of provision will themselves sometimes be children and, others, wanting to break the cyclical abuse they themselves might have suffered.

In Parent and Child Fostering, vulnerable parent/s and their baby (or children) stay in a foster care arrangement for approximately 12 weeks or up until all assessments have concluded (within a 26 week court timeframe) where they can learn a lot about themselves and their ability to acquire new parenting skills and receive guidance in a safe and supportive environment.

Guided by their foster carers, new mothers, fathers or both will learn how to care for their children safely, while receiving the support they need to secure their own family’s future.

New parents might require parent and child foster care for a number of reasons; Often, young mums who do not have the support they need outside of the fostering household need an environment where they can learn securely from an experienced parent. There may be concerns about the new parent’s own safety or self-care, or perhaps a person with learning needs or a learning disability or other special consideration is struggling with their parenting skills.

Whatever the reason, the ultimate goal is for the parent and child to receive an intensive, life-changing package that can help them to maintain their family for the future whilst living in a supportive environment where they can ask questions and learn from foster carers who will guide them with learning the practical skills associated with parenthood– from changing nappies to medical care and everything else in between!

Foster carers who especially thrive in this role are welcoming and non-judgemental; comfortable sharing their parenthood experiences and helping parents to understand their baby’s own development; and observant – you will be required to complete daily foster carer logs which might be used to contribute to a parenting assessment being completed, depending on your foster child’s circumstances.

Usually, foster carers looking to enter this specialist field would already have experience as a foster carer or have worked in a childcare profession, would need adequate living space for the parent and child (unlike many other types of fostering, Parent and Child Fostering usually requires a room with enough space to accommodate a bed and a cot) and specific training and appropriate background checks.

However, in return, we ensure foster carers are provided with plenty of support to provide such specialist care. The Fostering Foundation’s team of social workers, therapists and support hubs provide all the required training ahead of placement – from first aid to child protection.

Here at The Fostering Foundation we are proud to say that we have a particular emphasis on therapeutic approaches and provide our foster carers with access to training in Attachment Theory, PACE and Therapeutic Parenting, as well as Managing Behaviours, Gender Identity and much more. Foster carers also receive a generous financial package to help provide for the parent and child in their care. Foster carers will also have dedicated 24 hour, 7 days a week, duty social work support.

The Fostering Foundation specialise in providing Parent and Child fostering households and our network of foster carers also provide a friendly community of like-minded people going through similar experiences – a first port of call for localised support that ensures foster carers at all levels of experience can enjoy their vocation while providing the safe and solid environment that young people need to thrive.

To find out more about fostering, get in touch with The Fostering Foundation below

Enquire About Fostering

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