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Foster Carer Q&A – Parent & child fostering

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When it comes to fostering, there are many forms it can take. Parent and child fostering is just as crucial as traditional fostering and equally as rewarding.

What is parent and child fostering?

Parent and child fostering is a form of short-term fostering where a single parent and baby are placed under your care. Often these parents are young and need extra support with taking care of their children until they feel like they can stand on their own two feet.

Although not all parents are young parents, many of them will have been in care or experienced poor parenting themselves in early life. Parent and child fostering gives them the chance to learn positive parenting skills that they can take away and break the poor parenting cycle.

We spoke with one of our incredible Olive Branch carers who has recently cared for a parent and child.

How did you start preparing for welcoming your parent and child foster?

By finding out as much background history as possible, likes and dislikes, and putting together a welcome pack including pics explaining who’s who in our family, our house including their room, surrounding area and what’s available to parent & baby in the community.

What additional features did you have to make sure to put in place compared to fostering a child alone?

Depending on the age of the baby/child we put soft play mats down, age-appropriate toys, safety locks, gates etc. We have a small or big cot ready.

What types of things do you typically have to support the mum/father with?

Support or show how to sterilise everything properly, prepare and make food for themselves and baby making plenty to freeze some as this helps with budgeting but also always having healthy meals ready especially for their baby, bathing and sleeping safely, help through the night, attending contact. Helping them to nurture and develop a secure and loving relationship with their child

How much one-to-one time do you have with the foster child? How much do you encourage the mum/dad to parent without support?

We have one-to-one time with the child if the parent needs a break or is struggling and getting overwhelmed with not only becoming a parent but the skills needed to build a healthy attachment with their child through meeting their everyday needs as well as loves and cuddles being able to engage with their child through reading, floor time and stimulating play.

What are the most rewarding aspects of parent and child fostering?

Rewards for us include seeing a parent grow in confidence and self-esteem, proving to themselves just how capable they really are, helping them achieve their goals and going on to live independently.  Having them keep in touch with us, regularly getting updates with pictures and videos of both of their progress

What are some of the biggest challenges in parent and child fostering?

Building their trust, their preconceived ideas of us and the placement, breaking down barriers, and dealing with extended family.

What training or experience did you have that helped you in your role as a foster carer?

We did parent and child training which gave us an insight into these types of placements and what is involved, paediatric first aid training, we were fortunate to have a parent & child foster carer who spoke in depth about her experiences giving us a more realistic view of these types of placements, she also became our phone buddy who we could ring at any time if we needed help or advice or just a chat.

What 5 things would you say is most important about being a parent and child foster carer?
  • Having the ability to take a step back and allow the parent to parent.
  • A great deal of patience
  • Recognising any risks to both but mainly the child
  • Honesty and transparency are very important
  • Structures and boundaries
Do you feel you were supported enough during your placement? Are there any areas that could be improved?

We feel we have been well supported with our placements and don’t feel there is anything that needs to change.


Fostering stories


  • Parent and Child

Date published

09 November 2022

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