We get a range of placements types. The most common placements are teenagers, sibling groups and parent and child. Recently there has been a higher number of parent and child placements. This means that we need more foster carers who are willing to work with parent and child placements. We ask all our foster carers to be open to working with a variety of different placement types as it makes them easier to place with. Training is provided to gain extra skills to work with the variety of placements.
A parent and child placement is where one or both parents and a child are placed with a carer. This is an assessment placement to determine if they are fit to be parents. Usually, this is a mother and baby but it can be the father or both parents. It can also be a slightly older child.
A recent survey by The Fostering Network has revealed and confirmed that there is a shortage of carers for parent and child placements. Parent and child placements came in third after teenagers and sibling groups.
'Some 57% of fostering services said they were looking for more carers to offer this type of placement, typically for a young mother and her baby or toddler. Demand for these placements may be on the rise because other forms of assistance – such as residential mother and baby units or supported lodgings – have been “reduced or shut down because of austerity”, says Jackie Sanders, director of communications for the network. “There is more of a push to keep children with their families in this way,” she says. “These foster carers look after young mothers – or sometimes fathers – who are experiencing difficulties. They help them to develop parenting abilities and, hopefully, keep the parent and the child together in the longer term.”'
To read the full article on the survey click here.