Fostering – Parent and Child Fostering
Could you be a Parent and Child foster carer?
Parent and Child fostering allows you to make a real difference to parents and their children and keep families together. We are looking for people across Cumbria to care for both a parent and their child together. A vulnerable parent stays with a foster carer at a time when they need extra support and would otherwise be separated from their baby. This usually means opening your home to support a young mum and her new baby, for around 6 months. More and more, Parent and Child care is being sought for parents at risk of having children removed from their care. This may be because the young parent has not experienced positive parenting themselves, so has not learnt how to parent; it may be that the parent has additional needs that mean they need extra support. Or it could be that the parent has previously had a child removed from their care, and now their circumstances have changed, so it could be possible for their new baby to remain in their care for example. By caring for a parent and their child, the aim is that you will use skills you have acquired as a parent or carer yourself, to model positive parenting and give the family the best possible chances of staying together and flourishing. You’ll help to model skills such as feeding, bathing and safe sleep. You’ll empower the parent to make positive life choices, plans for the future and develop healthy routines. You’ll provide support when they are overwhelmed, and get them back on the right track if they need it. You’ll help them to understand developmental milestones and the baby’s needs. This really is an incredible opportunity for anyone with an interest in child development, and could be particularly interesting for people who are (or have been) midwives, teachers, youth workers, child care workers, social workers or care assistants. You’ll receive exceptional training, support and a weekly allowance of £700.
Fostering: Praise for Barrow carer who took in mum and baby
A foster carer has been praised for taking in a mother as well as her baby to prevent them from being split up. Terri Forbes, from Barrow-in Furness, has been hailed by Cumbria County Council for her “pioneering” work. The recognition from the council came as it launched a new campaign to find fosterers who will also welcome vulnerable parents into their homes. Claire Lloyd, the council’s fostering service manager, said she hoped Ms Forbes would “inspire others.” Ms Forbes, who has fostered children through the council for more than 20 years, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service she would carry on offering parent and child fostering.
‘Parent to the mother’
She said: “I started fostering because I love spending time with children and, as a single mum, saw fostering as a way of helping children and at the same time being able to stay at home with my own young children. I fostered children under six when I first started and then I also took on a long-term placement of a boy and girl, aged eight and 10. Then one day I got a call from the council asking if I could take a mother and baby together. I will say that you need to have a lot of patience to do this type of fostering, as you are being a parent to the mother as well as the baby. It is all about showing parents how to be good parents, not doing it for them.”
Ms Lloyd added: “Becoming a parent is one of the biggest challenges of our lives and it can be overwhelming, especially if you’re young and don’t have much support. As a parent-and-child carer, you will play a huge part in setting up a young family for a successful independent life.”