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Many prospective carers are interested in fostering babies and very young children. When people think of foster care, they often imagine a young child who needs their care. While this can be the case, fostering babies is not as common as you might think.
In all instances, social workers will do their best to keep children with their birth parents. This is not always possible however, and therefore some babies do end up entering the care system due to neglect, or if a parent has had children removed from them by care services before.
In most cases, it is in the child’s best interest to find them a permanent home for the future. This means that many of the young children and toddlers that come into care are often more suited to adoption. Adoption provides an ideal, permanent solution for the child’s care and offers them the stability they need to grow and develop to their full potential.
When looking at statistics, just 5% of children coming into care are aged under 1 in the latest information from the Government. The most common age of looked after children is actually much older, around 10-15. There is a much higher demand for carers who are willing to look after teenagers.
If you are interested in fostering a baby though, don’t be disheartened. Parent and child fostering is the ideal type of care for you!
Parent and child carers look after a vulnerable parent alongside their little one for a period of 12 weeks. This time is used to carry out an assessment of the mother or father (or both) to see if they have the skills and attitude necessary to look after their child full time.
The role can be a challenging one but it has the potential to be extremely rewarding. During their stay with you, you are responsible for ensuring the baby is adequately looked after and is provided with a nurturing environment. To do this, you can use your valuable training and experience to help guide the young parent and teach them the necessary skills and behaviours they need to succeed at parenting.
The support you provide to the parent is essential in building their confidence and giving them a real chance of staying together as a family. Often, they will not have experienced loving or nurturing care themselves and so look to foster parents as a role model of how parenting should be carried out. They may also need help with other life skills such as cooking, budgeting, cleaning, shopping and all of the other activities required to create a safe home for a young person.
The role may sound daunting, but you are always supported during the entire 12 weeks by a highly experienced link worker from Family Fostering Partners. All parent and child carers receive in-depth training to prepare them for the role and form part of a wider network of social workers who work together to carry out the assessment.
This specialised role is a great way to foster a baby and provide valuable guidance and love that will help keep a family together. To find out more about this type of care, and if you are suited to it, please get in touch with one of our professional advisors. You can reach us by selecting any of the options from our list below.
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