Mother and baby (Parent and child) fostering
This type of UK fostering involves the mother or father, who is experiencing difficulties, and their baby or young child being placed together in foster care.
This kind of placement is often an alternative to a mother and baby residential unit and usually results from a court referral, but not always.
The council or a court can decide if it is necessary for a placement to be made and the cost of a specialised twelve-week residential placement can be up to £60,000 compared to around £750 per week in a foster home.
There are three types of parenting placements, ‘assessment’, which assesses the parent’s ability for up to twelve weeks, ‘pre-birth’, which helps parents to get ready for the birth, and ‘parenting support’ which teaches and supports parenting skills.
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.
Mother and baby carers have usually had a lot of fostering experience, have been parents themselves (but not always), and have attended specialised training courses.
UK Foster carer’s role
- Foster carers usually don’t provide full care of the baby (except if required) but they help 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.
Mother and baby fostering can be complex and challenging and the foster carer requires skills and qualities such as:
- 24-hour commitment
The foster care assessment
The most used UK assessment tool by private and local authority fostering agencies is the Form F Assessment document which asks questions about your childhood through to your present, and how your life experiences provide evidence of what you can give to fostering a child.
A qualified social worker will make a minimum of 8 visits to you and your family to work through the sections of the Form F. You will be asked to do some homework and your 3 referees and any other relevant people will be interviewed.
Generally, foster carers make regular payments as agreed in the care plan, to the parent of a baby she/he is caring for. The payment is made up of any Benefits received by the parent.
Giving an allowance 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 in assessing the potential of the parent to care, or not, permanently for their child.
Foster carers income
UK Fostering agencies pay their foster carers different amounts depending on the agency’s individual pay rates and complexities of the placement. On average carers receive a weekly allowance of £700 for both parent and baby.
There is not much more rewarding than helping a parent to care for their child in your safe and secure home where you’ll provide day to day support and guidance. Contact us and we’ll help you to start your foster caring journey.
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