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New scheme invites families to foster both a child and their parent

16 May 2017

Bridgend County Borough Council has launched a new fostering scheme which aims to support vulnerable parents and their children to stay together as a family, by helping the parent improve their confidence in caring for a child independently and supporting them to build networks in their local community.

The ‘parent and child’ scheme will provide a lifeline for many vulnerable parents, who along with their child, will be placed together in a foster carer’s home for up to a 12-week period.

The live-in scheme will see the foster carers support parents to develop vital parenting skills, in a natural and nurturing family environment – providing consistent support and guidance throughout the placement.

Sue Cooper, the council's Corporate Director for Social Services and Wellbeing, said: "With many parents needing this extra support to care for their child, we are calling out to residents to think about becoming a ‘parent and child’ foster carer.

“This scheme is for parents, who really want to learn to be a good parent, but they may just need extra care and guidance in order to have the right parenting skills to look after their children."

"Being a parent does not come naturally to everyone," Sue Cooper added. "Like everything else in life, it must be learned. If someone has not come from a particularly stable and secure home then the example of parenting they've been set, which they consider the norm, may not be appropriate or good for a child.

"The parent and child scheme will give parents twelve weeks of intensive support where they will see how things should be done, hopefully changing their behaviour and breaking the cycle.

"Social workers only get to see snapshots of family life based on visits to a home. This new type of care enables a third party to see how the family live, interact and cope every day.

“The council is searching for people who have the skills to work with parents and children and who can provide a safe and appropriate home to host a family. No previous foster care experience is needed.”

Foster carers will receive extensive training and support so they are able to help vulnerable parents develop the vital parenting skills and strong bonds with their child, plus they will work closely with social care professionals to provide the holistic support these parents need to thrive.

The council has launched the scheme in response to a rise in the number of referrals for social care support and the benefits associated with the parent and child being placed in a safe family environment.

For more information on the parent and child scheme, or for more information on fostering in general, contact the fostering team on (01656) 642687 (your call will be in complete confidence), email: enquiries@bridgendfostercare.wales or visit: www.bridgendfostercare.wales

Last Updated: 17/05/2017
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