Parent and child placements
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. The parent receives the support and guidance needed to be a good parent, through assessments and support from foster carers and social workers.
With many parents needing extra support to care for their child, we need more people in Bridgend to come forward to support a family to stay together during a difficult time.
Essentially, these specialist placements can help a parent develop the confidence to take on the responsibility of caring for their child independently and develop links with local networks. It offers families the best chance of staying together.
Whilst living with foster families, the parent will undergo assessments and meetings with social workers who will monitor the child’s health and welfare.
Duration of placement
Primarily, the scheme is aimed at providing a short-term foster placement for a parent and child.
The placement usually lasts for 12 weeks while the parent’s ability to protect and care for the child is assessed and monitored.
Support and training
To prepare foster carers for parent and child placements, carers are given additional and specialist training and on-going support.
The support offered includes:
• An identified qualified social worker from the fostering team
• Specialised training
• 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.
What does the role involve?
Foster carers are trained so they are able to help vulnerable parents develop vital parenting skills and strong bonds with their child.
They work closely with social care professionals and provide the holistic support these parents need to thrive.
• Encourage a positive relationship between parent and child
• Provide emotional and practical support to the parent and child
• Provide consistent care and realistic boundaries during the placement
• Improve self-esteem and confidence of the parent who may have experienced significant rejection and loss
• Offer a commitment to minimise disruption and change for the parent and child
• Be a positive role model
• Manage and work with the parent to modify risk-taking behaviour
• Help the parent 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 child
• Ability to maintain clear and concise records
• To work closely as part of a team, both within the scheme and with the wider professional networks associated with the parent and child
• Work in conjunction with the fostering social worker during the assessment of the parent and child
• Actively contribute to planning meetings and reviews
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
• A valid driving licence and car available for transport
• Be prepared to present your recordings to court or attend court as necessary
Person specification - requirements
• 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
• Good standard of written skills and the ability to contribute to professional assessments
If you think you have what it takes to support a parent and child, contact the fostering team on (01656) 642687 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org – your chat will be in complete confidence.
Supporting families to stay together