Fostering: Praise for Barrow carer who took in mum and baby

Fostering: Praise for Barrow carer who took in mum and baby

Published21 April

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.”