Parent and Child Fostering is a specialist type of fostering arrangement, where a baby is taken into foster care with their mother/and or father. This type f fostering supports the parent(s) in developing the skills they need to care for their child, working toward securing a better outcome for everyone.
Supporting Parent and Child
Becoming a parent for the first time can be hard. No matter how many books you read or videos you watch in preparation, there’s always something new to learn.
Some new parents lack confidence in their parenting abilities. They might have had a challenging childhood themselves, be victims of domestic abuse, or struggle with substance misuse. They may be young, have a limited support network, or have additional needs – such as a disability – that makes it harder for them to care for their children.
It’s important to note that parent and child fostering arrangements aren’t limited to just ‘mother and baby fostering,’ though this is the most common – especially fostering teenage mothers. Sometimes, parent and child arrangements involve a father and child, or both parents and their child together.
The Foster Carer’s Role
Fostering a parent and child together can be an intense but immensely rewarding undertaking. Providing guidance and support to both a parent and their child requires a lot of energy, skills, and patience! Some parents will pick up skills quickly, while others may need a little more time to settle into the parenting role.
Foster carers act as a mentor for parents, using their own knowledge, expertise and creative skills to support the parent and their child in a way that suits them.
As a parent and child foster carer, you will:
- Provide a fully supervised, judgment-free home environment where parents can gain experience and build their self-confidence.
- Guide parents in understanding how to properly care for their child, including feeding, bathing and responding to the child’s needs.
- Help them to understand their child’s development, and how they can promote healthy development through things like play, nutrition, and routine.
- Teach them other household skills, like cooking, cleaning, and managing household finances.
- Observe the progress they make in their parenting and keep a detailed record of this in case it is requested by the Local Authority for their parenting assessment.
- Join the parent(s) in attending meetings and appointments with professionals, who will support, observe, and provide guidance throughout the arrangement.
Keeping A Family Together
While this might sound like a lot, the rewards that come with fostering a vulnerable parent and their child can make it totally worthwhile. That’s because, as a parent and child foster carer, you’ll be actively working towards keeping a family together.
Often, parent and child fostering arrangements are used by the Local Authority to assess the parent’s ability to care for their child. The outcome of a parent and child arrangement helps to determine whether the child remains with their parent – as the wellbeing and safety of the child is always paramount.
Fortunately, thanks to the hard work of our foster carers and the parents they care for, many of our child and parent arrangements are successful. This means the family has been able to remain together, moving into independent or supported housing, and going on to lead successful lives together.
Jen and her baby are currently living with one of our wonderful foster parents in a mother and baby foster placement.
In the video below, she talks to us about her experiences in foster care, and how – with the help of her foster carer – she’s developed into a confident, capable, and happy parent.
Like Jen, Jazmin also spent time in a parent and child fostering arrangement with one of our foster carers at Compass.
In an article she wrote for METRO, Jasmin details her experiences before, during, and after her stay with her foster carer. She talks about what it felt like coming into foster care, her relationship with her foster parent and her children, and how ‘just five months changed the course of (her) whole life.’
Supporting Our Foster Carers
At Compass, we understand how important it is to support our carers throughout their fostering journey with us. Caring for a parent and child full-time is a big commitment, which is why we make sure that all our carers have access to 24/7, wrap-around support.
As parent and child fostering is considered a specialist type of fostering, we also offer fully funded specialist parent and child fostering training that provides carers with all the knowledge they need to succeed in the role. Our carers also benefit from a generous parent and child fostering allowance that is higher than standard fostering allowances, recognising their unique skillset.
If you have the space in your home and heart to welcome in a vulnerable parent and child, please get in touch with us today to find out more about fostering with Compass. One of our friendly, local team members will be in touch with you to answer any questions you have, and help you kick-start your fostering journey.