Our parent and child fostering service provides options for the assessment and support of parents with their children. The purpose is to promote parenting skills and responsibility, and to then take a step back to see how the parents have responded. All the while the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration.

We understand that the stakes are high for the parent. A parent and child foster placement may be the key opportunity for the parent, with the support of the carers, to develop the skills and attitude needed to safely care for their child in the community.

Our specialist parent and child carers have a role as teachers of parenting skills and responsibilities. They work with parents to help them enable their children to develop secure, healthy attachment relationships with them.

AFA’s approach

We provide placements for one or both parents and their child or children. The timescale is determined by the child’s need for timely resolution of permanence plans. In general, our Parent and Child model consists of a 12-week placement:

12-WEEK PLACEMENT

Weeks 1 - 4

The carer teaches and models appropriate parenting

Weeks 5 - 8

The carer takes a step back, only prompting or intervening where necessary, in a supportive way

Weeks 9 - 12

The carer only intervenes if there are safeguarding concerns.

This schedule can be adjusted during the course of placements, with the agreement of the Local Authority, to reflect the needs and progress of individual parents.

Our parent and child carers

Our parent and child foster carers require additional, specific skills in order to strike the right balance between intervention and assessment. As such, they are provided with additional training:

Legal framework and implications

Observational skills (including attachment behaviour)

Child development

Assessment skills

Working with other professionals

Observation / assessment / intervention

Recording

Advanced attachment

We work hard to support our carers to provide information to the Local Authority that is clear, transparent, accurate, evidence-based and non judgemental. This supports the Local Authority in completing effective assessments.

We organise reflective practice groups for our parent and child carers. These are facilitated by one of our specialist Social Workers. These sessions provide the opportunity to discuss the particular challenges that this form of foster caring presents. They are a great way to learn from each other’s experience.

At the end of the assessment

Often parents are able to demonstrate that they can safely care for their child in the community, but sadly that does not always happen.


Where the parent leaves the placement, or is assessed as not being capable of providing good enough long-term care for their child, we may be able to offer the Local Authority the opportunity to ‘step down’ the placement to child only or an alternative Bridging placement for the child, in order to support a move to permanence in due course, sometimes through adoption. Our carers are supported in this process by additional training around ‘Bridging’. Alternatively we will support the child to move to a Bridging placement.

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Get in touch

For further information please contact Craig Noyes on 07833 488816 or via email or complete the below form.

This information will only be used to process your expression of interest within AFA as a potential foster carer and will not be shared with any 3rd party.

Already a foster carer?

We’d love to hear from experienced foster carers too. Find out more about transferring fostering agency.

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