Who are We Looking For?
If you have been considering fostering as a career, or if you are already fostering successfully, it is probably due to you having the qualities and personality that makes for a really good parent; whether or not you have had children of your own. Good Foster Parents have exceptional parenting skills, so this makes them the ideal and valuable lifeline for young parents whose ability to parent their own baby or child well is compromised for one reason or another. A safe, secure and understanding home where a mother or father can learn parenting skills from experts can make the difference between them being able to raise their child themselves, or the child being taken into care. At Flourish Fostering we work to a therapeutic care model and provide foster families, and the new families they care for, with everything they need to achieve the best outcomes possible.
What is Parent and Child Fostering?
Caring for a parent with their baby or child, to help equip them with the skills they need to raise their family well, is very a rewarding, specialist type of fostering. The parent and child, often a young mother and baby, come to stay in your home to have extra support and guidance to enable them to stay together and form a strong bond of attachment. You will be trained to assess the progress and development of the parent-child relationship.
Why are Parent and Child placements needed?
The desired outcome for a parent and child placement is that, where possible, children are best kept within their own families, this is the underlying principle of The Children Act (1989).
Most often the primary benefit of parent and child fostering is to support the mother (or sometimes father)and keep the child or baby safe whilst they are learning good parenting skills from the Foster Parents. This may be because a parent is experiencing difficulties looking after their new baby, or that they may not have experienced great parenting themselves or perhaps have been in care themselves without consistent and dependable good quality adult role models. This can lead them to need an experienced parental figure to help them become a better parent than if they were left alone to muddle through. Other reasons can include the parent having a learning difficulty or mental health challenges that cause them challenges in acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to keep their baby safe.
Parent and Child Assessments
The parent is supported by the Foster Parent to understand their own needs and the needs of their baby. Parents will stay in the foster home with their child or baby until the assessment by the local authority is completed. Usually, this is around 12 weeks but can be extended, particularly if there are safeguarding concerns, or they can be concluded more quickly. Sometimes a decision may be made that the child’s best interests are not to remain with their parent, but to be adopted, in which case the parent(s) would move out of the foster home, and the Foster Parent would need to support and prepare the baby through this adoption process.
As a Parent and Child Foster Parent, you will be specifically trained to facilitate this type of assessment where Flourish Fostering contributes and work with the local authority. You will have regular reviews on the parent and child’s relationship and development. The mother or father can be any age. However, if they are under 18 they may be a looked after child themselves. If the outcome is positive the Foster Parent would support them onto their next home, this could be moving in with family, independent living or supported living, and there is sometimes a possibility for the Foster Parent to provide some outreach work to assist this big transition.
Becoming a Parent and Child Foster Parent with Flourish
As a Parent and Child Foster Parent, your home will provide a safe and secure environment in which a new parent can feel secure and motivated to work towards a positive outcome.
Your skills and experience will help to build a positive working relationship allowing for an assessment to be undertaken, while the parent can build on positive aspects of their parenting enabling them to gain confidence and life skills, and ultimately to protect their child from harm and to meet their childhood developmental milestones at the right times.
The services provided by Flourish Fostering for Parent and Child placements include::
- 24hr duty service cover
- A baby equipment allowance
- Flourish Fostering’s attendance at any meetings and reviews where required
- Attendance at Court where directed
- Supervised contact for the second parent with the child.
- Ongoing post-transition community-based support and assessment where it is deemed beneficial to the parent available on request.
- A bespoke package of support to meet the needs of the parent and the child.