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.
What is parent and child fostering?
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 own children. Or they may have learning disabilities, making it difficult for them to pick up parenting skills.
As a parent and child foster carer, 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 mother's ability to care for their child and 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 the rewards as well as the 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.
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.
Ready to start your fostering journey?
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
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