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Parent and child fostering

Debs - Parent and Child
Foster Parent

Parent and child fostering (often called mother and baby fostering) is a specialised type of foster care arrangement with foster families providing care and support to a parent or parents and their child or children. Foster Parents are a key part of the team asessing a parents abilities when social services have raised concerns about parenting skills or circumstances.

Key qualities that we look for in

parent and child foster parents

are patience, understanding,

warmth, resilience and creativity.

Parent and child foster parents

must be able to juggle the needs,

not only of the child but also of

the parent and be aware of their

journey, so that they can help them

to improve their parenting skills and better evaluate their life choices. Parent and child fostering plays a crucial role in helping families in crisis and preserving family units.

Parent and child fostering is designed to help parents who are facing challenges

or difficulties in caring for their child or children, such as young parents or those needing additional support to address specific issues in their lives. Parent and child fostering is a temporary arrangement, with parent/s and their child/ren moving into a foster families home for around 6 months. The objectives and the duration of parent and child fostering vary, depending on the parents individual circumstances.

The primary goals of parent and child fostering

Preventing separation - if the parent is able to learn and demonstrate the skills required to safely parent, then the child will avoid staying in the care system and the trauma of separation for the child and for the parent is avoided.

Developing parenting skills - the primary focus of parent and child fostering is supporting, guiding and role modelling, to help the parent to gain confidence and develop the skills required to safely and effectively care for their child.

Assessment - the foster parent provides a safe and nurturing environment for the parent and their child to be able to learn. Foster parents will be assessing whether, with the support and guidance that they provide, the parent can learn to recognise and meet their child's needs. Foster parents will be working closely with social workers and other professionals, to monitor and evaluate the parents abilities and progress during the course of their time with them.

Skill building - parenting classes, counselling and other forms of external support services may be provided to help the parent to overcome the challenges that they have faced previously and address the causes.

Safety and wellbeing - the safety and wellbeing of the child are always paramount in these arrangements so the parent-child relationship and interaction will need close supervision.

Aiding transition - while the ultimate goal is for the parent to leave the fostering home with their child and live independently, if it is determined that the parent is unable or unwilling to meet the child's needs, other long-term solutions may be explored, such as adoption,  long-term foster care or kinship care. The foster parent will help the child to meet and adjust to their new family.

Parent and child foster parents need to be skilled in caring for children and also able to empathise and offer support and guidance to parents who are struggling. It is a specialised form of foster care requiring additional training which The Hazel Project would provide. This is a highly specialised role, suited to those with experience in working with vulnerable adults and children as reflected in the fostering fees and allowances starting from £926.81 per week.

To find out more about fostering with The Hazel Project, request an Introduction to Fostering brochure or call 0800 7 747 747 with any questions or to have an informal chat.

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mother and baby fostering
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