Foster carers make up a vital part of the care system and without them, lots of children and young people wouldn’t have a safe and secure place to stay. As you may know, children enter the care system when they’re unable to live with their birth parents or family members and there are various circumstances that can result in them needing to stay with a foster carer. Due to this, there are lots of different types of foster placements.
Often, people are aware of common placements like emergency foster care, but they don’t know much about some of the lesser-known placement types. One particular placement that many don’t even know exists is ‘parent and child foster placements’, and this is arguably one of the most rewarding placements for foster carers to take on. Below we have looked into this type of foster placement in more detail.
What are parent and child foster placements?
As the name suggests, parent and child foster placements are where a parent/parents and their baby or young child/ren come to live with you in your home. This is a unique type of placement as it involves opening your home to both a parent and their little one or little ones, rather than just a child or young person who needs somewhere to stay while other arrangements can be made for them.
Often, parent and child foster placements are used as an alternative to residential family centres and they provide families with a safe place to stay. The parents involved in this type of placement can be young,and are in need of some support, and in some cases, the parent may even be pregnant with the child when they start the placement.
When you’re a foster carer, traditionally you will be responsible for caring for a child or young person, but this type of placement is different and you won’t actually be taking on a ‘parenting role’. Instead, you will be providing guidance to help a parent learn how to care for their own child. There are numerous different reasons why parent and child foster placements are required, but they will typically last for around 12 weeks as part of an assessment process.
Why do foster carers choose parent and child foster placements?
Foster carers that choose to open their homes to a parent and their child have a unique and very large responsibility, and specialist training is required for this type of placement. However, helping someone to become an amazing parent can be incredibly rewarding and you really do have the ability to change the lives of both the parent and the child.
The vast majority of other types of foster placements provide you with the opportunity to care for and support just one young person at a time, but when you’re a parent and child foster carer, you can have a positive impact on two lives at once. The non-judgemental environment and useful guidance that you provide will help a parent to make sure they are doing right by their baby or child, both now and in the future.
During their time staying with you, a parent will learn how to take care of themselves and their baby, ensuring that they’re able to live not just independently but also a full and satisfying life together. The stepping stone you provide will be something that they are forever grateful for and you will have the pleasure of watching a young parent grow into their new role.
Without parent and child foster placements, lots of families would get broken up too and as a foster carer, you will be enabling parents to stay with their babies/children whilst they learn essential parenting and life skills. What’s more, you can ensure that they have a safe and secure place to live whilst doing so, and you can help to prevent them from having to stay somewhere that isn’t suitable for them.
Are you interested in fostering in Buckinghamshire?
All in all, there are lots of different foster placements and all of them have their own unique benefits and challenges, so it is important to take the time to carefully consider which type of foster carer you would like to be. Parent and child foster placements are undeniably a brilliant way to help those in the care system who need support and guidance, and this is definitely one of the most rewarding types of foster placements to provide.
If you’d like to speak to an independent fostering agency about fostering in Buckinghamshire in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Fostering UK today. We will gladly have an informal chat with you about becoming a foster carer and answer any questions that you may have in this regard. Should you wish to start the fostering assessment process, we can assist you with doing so and we can assure you that you will be in the best hands when you turn to us to start your fostering journey in Buckinghamshire.