If you’re considering becoming a foster carer, it’s important to know about the different kinds of fostering, including short-term, long-term, specialist, and respite foster care. Parent and child fostering, or ‘P&C’, is a specialist fostering type that offers vulnerable parents the skills and confidence to care for their babies independently. 

This unique form of fostering involves welcoming a parent or both parents and their baby into your home, where you will provide them with the stability and guidance they need to thrive. The aim of parent and child fostering is to ultimately stop birth parents and children from being separated.

In Leeds, Yorkshire, and areas of the North East, many parents face challenges due to unstable home environments, abusive upbringings, and a lack of parenting confidence. Parent and child fostering provides a safe and nurturing setting where parents, often young and with newborns, can stay with their babies and learn essential caregiving skills for the future. 

As a parent and child foster carer, your role is crucial in ensuring parents can meet their baby’s needs. You will work closely with a multidisciplinary team that includes social workers, health professionals (such as midwives and health visitors), and other relevant experts. Your responsibilities are likely to vary depending on the circumstances of the parent but could include:

Offering continuous advice and support to parents on safe and effective parenting practices. This guidance typically spans an agreed period, such as a 12-week assessment.

Helping parents develop and maintain a strong, healthy relationship with their child, fostering a deep and lasting bond.

Providing emotional care and practical advice that helps parents grow in confidence and capability, as they learn to care for their child. This might include budgeting, meal planning and healthy relationships, for example.

Regularly taking notes and attending meetings, to help with the parenting assessment process. 

Parent and child foster carers should have childcare experience and a strong interest in working with parents in a solution-focused way. Other useful skills include emotional resilience, independent living skills, strong communication skills, the ability to adapt to different learning styles, empathy and patience. Parent and child foster carers should also be prepared to share their home for a number of weeks, so a spare bedroom is a mandatory requirement. 

Whilst challenging, parent and child fostering can be highly rewarding. Foster carers can make a real difference in the lives of vulnerable parents. You will witness their growth and development, as they gain confidence and self-esteem through your guidance. This form of fostering creates a nurturing environment where parents learn essential skills. Keeping birth parents and children together in a safe environment is the best outcome for children and parents alike.

Unity parent and child foster carers benefit from 24/7 support, as well as extensive training, and a fostering allowance.

Could you help to transform the lives of vulnerable parents and babies in your area? If you’re based in Leeds, Yorkshire, or nearby areas in the North East and are considering fostering, we’re here to support you.

Our friendly advisor, Gemma, is on hand to answer any questions you have and will guide you through the fostering journey. To book an informal chat, select a date and time that works for you and we’ll be in touch. Alternatively, you can call us directly on 0333 77 22 333.