Breaking perceptions of Parent & Child fostering.

15th February, 2024

Have you heard of parent and child fostering? If you haven’t you would probably be in the majority, in fact, FosterCare UK parent and child foster carer, Sally, also didn’t know what this type of fostering was when she first joined seven years ago. We caught up with her recently.

Why parent & child fostering?

Sally and partner, Daryl, were originally drawn to fostering thinking they might not be able to have children themselves. When their little one came along, they still wanted to help. They joined the organisation with the initial idea of fostering young people, however, when their first fostering arrangement didn’t work out their supervising social worker suggested parent and child. Seven years later and the couple haven’t looked back, Sally commented…

“I find the teaching side of it so rewarding. Especially how to play with their baby. Some mums don’t understand the benefit of talking to them, as they can’t answer back but we discuss how talking to their baby helps their development and to build that bond.”

What’s the difference between parent & child and regular fostering?

Most obviously, you have both parent and baby come to live with you over a short period of time. During the arrangement the foster carer guides and supports the new parent, giving them the skills they need to care for their child.

It’s highly intensive, the parent and child will need near constant supervision and the foster carer needs to have keen observation and recording skills, which will be used in documentation. We asked Sally, how does she support her own wellbeing in such an intensive arrangement.

“I’m lucky to have Daryl, so when I need a break, he steps in. Our relationship has had unexpected benefits over the years, especially for some women who’ve experienced domestic abuse. They see how Daryl treats me, and know that it doesn’t have to be the way they’ve experienced relationships in the past, it gives them hope.”

Breaking perceptions of parent and child fostering.

It would be easy to presume that it’s mostly young mums entering this type of arrangement, however, Sally assures us this is not the case. Though some of her young mums have been in their 20’s, she’s also supported women in their 40’s and dads too, there really is no one type of parent and child arrangement. Each is unique.

For those considering fostering, Sally would encourage them to consider parent and child too.

“While parent and child is very different, you very much still have to nurture in these types of arrangement. Many of the women I’ve supported over the years, regardless of their age, are often immature in many respects and have looked to me as their mother figure. It’s nice to be able to help them keep their family together.”


Have you been inspired by Sally’s story? Get in touch today to learn more about parent and child fostering with FosterCare UK on 0844 800 1941.

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