Parent and child fostering
Mother and baby Fostering
This type of fostering involves the mother or father, who is experiencing difficulties, and their baby or young child being placed together in foster care.
Foster carers – fostering role:
- foster carers do not necessarily provide parental care (except if required) but helps and encourages the parent to develop their skills.
- the foster carer has an important role observing and recording how the parent looks after the child.
More likely, mother and baby fostering, can be complex and challenging and the foster carer requires skills and qualities such as:
- 24-hour commitment
Carer – baby – child
This kind of fostering placement is often an alternative to a mother and baby unit and usually results from a court referral, but not always.
A baby’s social worker may make the decision for a parent and child fostering placement, if the parent isn’t coping well and needs extra help but doesn’t have an extended family. The parent might not necessarily be a young person.
Parent child assessment
Assessing the parent
Generally, foster carers make regular payments, as agreed in the care plan, to the parent of a baby she/he is caring for in the a parent and baby placement. The payment is made up from any Benefits received by the parent.
Helping the parent
The payment to the parent lets them be responsible for the baby or toddler’s daily care, and is an important part of the support and supervision by the foster carer and in assessing the potential of the parent to care, or not, permanently for their child.
Tracy left school at 15. After a several periods in children homes she was back living with her mother but they continually argued. There was a lot of alcohol being drunk in the family which hardly helped and Tracy soon became pregnant.
‘I planned it, I wanted to have my own baby but when you’re young, you don’t realise what you’re getting yourself into – like the responsibility, and it is a big responsibility. You just think about having this nice baby and showing it off.’
Tracy was not coping and it was decided that she and her unborn babt were at risk so her local social services agreed it was best to place Tracy in a foster home. With no qualifications and an unstable home-life, Julie would have faced an uphill battle trying to provide a secure and loving home for her baby. The statistics show that babies born to teenage mothers often end up in care.
‘At first they wanted to put me into a hotel-place, the local mother and baby hostel. I went there and it was really rough. I hated the look of it but I had been in a foster home before and I quite liked it, so when they asked me if I would like to be placed with a family I said yes.’
Tracy was five months pregnant when she moved to foster care. She had her baby son, stayed for six months then moved into her own flat and with help, started a hairdresser course at her local college. With the help of a foster carer, mum and baby were given the best start possible.