Parent and child fostering

Parent and child fostering

Parent and child fostering (sometimes known as mother and baby fostering) involves caring for a vulnerable parent and their young child.

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What is parent and child fostering?

Parent and child fostering is a specialist type of fostering which involves supporting either a vulnerable pregnant mum or a parent and their young child. This is usually the mother, but occasionally it’s the father instead and sometimes both.

Often, those referred to us for a parent and child fostering service have not experienced a caring and nurturing childhood, which can affect their ability to care for their children. Or they may have learning disabilities, making it difficult to pick up parenting skills.

As a parent and child foster parent, you'll likely be fostering young or teenage mothers and their babies, toddlers or children. Mum and baby will stay in your home, while you support the mother to understand and respond to her child's needs.

Sometimes, the local authority may want to evaluate the parent's ability to care for their child so you'll be required to observe and monitor their parenting skills. This is a key responsibility, over and above the usual role of a foster parent, which adds to both the rewards and challenges.

Mother and baby foster placements are incredibly rewarding as by providing strong support to the family at the beginning, it’s often possible to transform the experiences of both the parent and their child so that social services involvement isn't needed later in their life.

How long do mother and baby placements last?

Mum and baby will generally stay in your home for around 12 weeks, with a focus on helping the mother develop the awareness, confidence and skills to feed, care for and nurture her child.

mother and baby fostering

Training and support

Parent and child fostering is a specialist field and so on top of all the standard training, you’ll undertake specialist courses to develop the crucial skills to care for, assess and safeguard a young family.

Our parent and child foster carer training covers:

  • The needs of both the parent and child when looked after together.
  • When to intervene in a situation and when it’s important to take a step back.
  • Paediatric first aid for foster parents.

You’ll receive frequent home visits from your dedicated social worker and have access to our 24/7 helpline, so you’re never more than a phone call away from professional support. As an Orange Grove foster parent, you'll never be alone and can rely on our support, whenever you need it.

Parent and child fostering pay

Parent and child fostering pay

You’ll receive a payment during the time parents and children are in your care, which increases depending on the number of adults and children you have living in the foster home.

Parents will have differing levels of their own income which they’ll use to care for themselves and their children. This is also the same for the mother and baby placement pay, you'll receive a generous fee for the nights they spend in your care, and the parent will be expected to pay for items needed for their babies, such as nappies, clothing and formula.

Plus as an Orange Grove foster parent, you'll have access to our rewards platform where you can find hundreds of discounts at some of your favourite shops, restaurants and family experiences.

Types of parent and child fostering placements

When a local authority is concerned about a parent’s ability to care for their child, they may decide to place them with experienced parent and child foster carers. This additional support may be provided to a mother or father and their child, before or after the baby’s arrival.

Pre-birth placements - an expectant mother will stay with a foster parent before the child is born, to help them prepare for the arrival of their child.

Assessment placements - once a baby has arrived, the local authority may wish to complete an assessment on their parenting ability, which takes around 12 weeks. During this time, foster parents will need to record their observations and may be asked to contribute to the ongoing assessment.

Parenting support placements - this type of support is offered to vulnerable parents with young children who need to learn basic care skills and how to provide a safe, nurturing environment for their child.

Are you suited to parent and child fostering?

You may be fostering teenage mums and their children, young mothers and babies, or even a father and child, so you'll need a deep understanding of parenting babies and very young children.

Relevant experience as a parent yourself or in some professional capacity, such as a midwife, would be a real advantage. Also due to the specialist nature, you’ll need to have completed all mandatory training and in most circumstances, you’ll need to have been fostering for a minimum of 2 years.

As mother and baby foster placements last up to 12 weeks and can be quite intensive, you’ll need to be on hand pretty much constantly, so the demand on your time is high.

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Other types of fostering

Short-term foster care - foster parent with looked after children


Short-term fostering can range from a single night to a few years, depending on the child's and family's needs.

Find out more

respite foster care


Respite carers provide foster parents with a chance to rest, while they take care of the children for a night or two.

Find out more

fostering disabled child

Disability fostering

There are many children and young people with disabilities who require specialist foster care.

Find out more

fostering unaccompanied refugee minors

Asylum-seeking children

There's an increasing number of children arriving in the UK in urgent need of foster care.

Find out more

Speak to our team

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.

Please make sure you read our terms and conditions because you're agreeing to them by submitting an enquiry. It's also worth reading our privacy policy and cookies policy so you understand how we collect and use your personal data.

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