Help foster better futures for parents and their children
Posted on: Tuesday 02 January 2018
With the demand of parent and child fostering placements on the rise, Bridgend County Borough Council is keen to hear from people who are willing to support local, vulnerable families.
Parent and child placements are becoming increasingly popular, mainly due to the benefit of keeping a parent and their child together and increasing the chances of them living together independently.
The ‘parent and child’ scheme provides a lifeline for many vulnerable parents, who along with their child, will be placed in a foster carer’s home for a 12-week period, as a last chance to keep their child out of care.
The live-in scheme will see the foster carers try to teach mums or dads vital parenting skills, in a natural and nurturing family environment – providing consistent support and guidance throughout the placement.
As well as helping the parents develop their own skills, parent and child carers may oversee tasks such as making up feeds, establishing bedtime routines or interacting with the child - as well as setting clear boundaries so the parent knows they are responsible for their child.
Initially the foster carer will initially provide intensive support to both the parent and child, however once the parent gains the confidence and the skills to safely care for their child, foster carers are not expected to provide 24/7 supervision to either the parent or the child.
The aim of these specialist placements is to help a parent develop the confidence to take on the responsibility of caring for their child independently and develop links with local networks.
Whilst living with foster families, the parent’s ability to protect and care for the child will be assessed and monitored. Feedback from the foster carers will then be considered by social workers when they are deciding whether the parent has the essential parenting skills to live with their child independently, or whether the youngsters needs to be placed into care.
This is a perfect opportunity for parents and children to develop a lasting bond whilst getting the support and assistance they need at a crucial development stage. It also allows the chance for parents to remain with their children rather than the child being placed in foster care.
For some foster carers, welcoming a parent and a baby into their home feels like a natural fit as they’re able to use skills they’ve built over the years by raising their own children.Cllr Phil White, Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help.
Cllr White added: "Helping to build a family will be so rewarding. Most of the mums, or in some instances dads, haven’t had role models to show them how to correctly nurture and bring up their own baby. It’s really important for parents to see how a functioning family works in a loving and positive environment.
"We welcome applications from all walks of life, including those with birth children, as they can be role models to the parents which demonstrates to them the impact of positive parenting. If you’re interested in helping to keep families together, the fostering team are really keen to hear from you. I really hope the people of Bridgend get behind this and help a parent and their child stay together."
Foster carers will offer encouragement as well as assess parenting skills with a view to changing inappropriate or negative behaviour. The ideal outcome is that, at the end of the placement, the birth parent will be able to look after their child in a suitable, independent manner.
Carers will receive generous allowances, excellent support and extensive training to ensure that they have all the skills needed.
If you would like further information on the parent and child scheme or you think fostering could be for you then visit the Bridgend foster care website or alternatively, contact the fostering team on (01656) 642687.
For general enquiries, please contact Bridgend County Borough Council's customer contact centre:
09:00 to 17:00 Monday to Thursday;
09:00 to 16:30 Friday.