Parent and child scheme
Parent and child placements in foster care are becoming more common, mainly because of the benefits associated with the parent and child being placed in a safe family environment.
Essentially a mother, father or both parents live with their children in a foster carer’s home where they learn to cope with parenthood; it helps give them the best opportunity to develop their parenting skills in a natural, nurturing family environment, and overcome any difficulties they are facing.
The parent receives the help, support and guidance to develop the confidence to take on the responsibility of caring for their children independently and develop links with local networks. It offers young families the best chance of staying together.
The placement usually lasts for 12 weeks and whilst living with foster families, the parents will undergo assessments and meetings with social workers who will monitor the child’s health and welfare.
With many parents needing extra support to care for their child, we need more people in Bridgend County Borough to come forward to support a family.
To prepare foster carers with parent and child placements, they are given additional and specialist training and on-going support to ensure they are fully equipped to offer the level of guidance required as part of this fostering service.
The support offered includes:
- An identified qualified social worker from the fostering team
- Support from the fostering team
- Specialised training
- Increased visits from your own social worker and/or support worker
- Indirect support from the parents and/or baby’s social worker
- Regular support groups
- Support from health professionals and other services involved with the parent and child
A dedicated social worker will monitor and support the foster placement, keeping thorough records about how the placement is progressing.
Foster carer allowance
As a parent and child carer you will be well rewarded for the complex nature of the work and will receive extra allowances to general foster carers.
Foster carers are trained so they are able to help parents develop vital parenting skills and strong bonds with their child.
They work closely with social care professionals and provide the holistic support these young parents need to thrive.
When a foster carer supports a parent and child placement, they simultaneously ensure the needs of the child are met and encourage the parent to develop the skills to look after their infant; however the carer doesn’t usually provide full care of the baby.
- Encourage a positive relationship between parent and baby
- Provide emotional and practical support to the parent and baby
- Provide consistent care and realistic boundaries within placement
- Improve self-esteem and confidence of the parents who may have experienced significant rejection and loss
- Offer a commitment to minimise disruption and change for the parent and baby
- Be a positive role model
- Be consistent and reliable with your guidance and support
- Manage and work with the parents to modify risk-taking behaviour
- Help the parents to learn the skills to live independently
- Observe and record how the parent looks after the child, keeping daily logs about the progress of the parent and child
- Provide a high level of supervision, to safeguard the welfare of the baby
- Ability to maintain clear and concise records
- Work in a planned way towards placement endings
- To be flexible with your time e.g. supervisions, meetings
- To work closely as part of a team, both within the scheme and with the wider professional networks associated with the parent and baby
- Work in conjunction with the fostering social worker during the assessment of the parent and baby
- Actively contribute to planning meetings and reviews
- A valid driving licence and car available for transport
- Be prepared to represent your recordings to court or attend court as necessary
Parent and baby fostering can be complex and challenging and the foster carer requires skills and qualities such as:
- The ability to treat new parents with sensitivity
- Assertiveness and the confidence to lead by example
- Observational skills and the willingness to observe and record how the parent looks after the child, whilst being unobtrusive
- Patience and encouragement when passing on advice and parenting skills
- Confidence - Foster carers stay in close communication with the supporting social worker and are expected to contribute to reviews and meetings to report on the progress of the placement
- Relevant and transferable skills from employment, such as experience of working with babies, children or young people.
- A spare bedroom with adequate room to accommodate the parent and child.
- A minimum of one member of the household to be at home and available throughout the day.
- Sufficient space in the living area to enable a family to live alongside your own family.
- Basic IT skills (Word, email).
- Active links within the local community.
If you think you have what it takes to support a parent and child so they are able to remain together and eventually live in their own home, contact the fostering team - your chat will be in complete confidence.