Survey reveals shortage of parent and child foster placements
According to the Fostering Network, parent and child placements are the third most demanded fostering placements along with teenagers and sibling groups. 57% of fostering services said they were looking for more carers to offer this type of placement.
Types of parent and child fostering:
– Assessment placements – these placements usually last for about 12 weeks and it gives the local authority a chance to access the parent on their capability of looking after the child.
– Pre-birth placements – to help the parent prepare for the birth of their child and to help them understand the needs of their new baby.
These types of placements are to help keep children with their families whether it is a mother or a father who are experiencing difficulties and need support. As each care plan can be different, it can be difficult to pin point the exact needs for a parent and child placement however, the main aspect is guidance and support.
For most foster cares, parent and child placements will come easily to them as they are simply offering their skills and knowledge from raising their own children. The parent will be able to learn from the carer and learn skills that will stick with them to forever care for their child. However, for some parent and child placements, it can be difficult for the parent as they have never had a role model to look up to and never understood what it takes to be a true mother or father figure. They may have never received the love and relationship from their own parents to give to a child of their own. Giving a child a stable loving childhood may be difficult when you have never received it yourself.
Parent and child placements are different to fostering a child on their own as the care is usually only for a 12 week period. This is an assessment time for the parent to learn new parenting skills and prove that they can meet the child’s needs. It is more about guiding and supervising the parent rather than looking after the child directly. The foster carer will keep daily logs about the progress of the parent and child to allow the local authority to access the parent’s capability. These parent and child placements are a chance for their child to not be taken into care so the supervision, guidance and support offered from the foster carer is vital.