Foster care: mother and baby placements explained

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Foster care: mother and baby placements explained

Foster carers for mother and baby

Foster care for mother and baby

Foster carers will be interested in a survey from only two years ago that was carried out by the country’s leading charity, The Fostering Network. It looked, quite simply, into the what types of placement were in highest demand. Unsurprisingly, in first and second place came foster homes for teenagers and then sibling groups respectively. The category that came in third in the charity’s annual survey, was mother and baby – also known as parent and child.

The situation has remained largely unchanged in terms of the overall priority. Well over half of fostering service providers reported that more foster carers were urgently needed for parent and child placements. Jackie Sanders, director of communications for The Fostering Network, said in 2017, that the rise in demand for mother and baby placements may have been increasing because of certain factors: the closure or reduction of residential mother and baby units or supported lodgings. She said of the situation that – “There is more of a push to keep children with their families in this way.” And of foster carers who specialise in parent and child placements – “These foster carers look after young mothers – or sometimes fathers – who are experiencing difficulties. They help to develop parenting abilities and, hopefully, keep the parent and the child together in the longer term.”

Mother and baby placement referrals.

Foster carers will have benefited from training because their task of helping young parents develop parenting skills can be a difficult one. This is because a lot of the parents referred for assessments will themselves often have lead chaotic and dysfunctional lives. They may have been living in an environment where there is domestic violence keeping important or drug and alcohol abuse. A proportion of the parents may be suffering from borderline mental health problems themselves. Foster carers support them to begin organising their lives – such as recognising the importance of keeping key appointments – with, for example, a doctor.

The way such placements differ is a follows:

  • Assessment mother and baby placements – typically these last for around twelve weeks during which time an assessment report is produced examining the parent’s capabilities in relation to caring for their infant.
  • Pre-birth placements – to help prepare the parent for the birth of their child. This is done by assisting them to come to understand what their own needs will be as well as those of the baby when it arrives.
  • Parenting supporting placements – these placements are for those parents who will require help with learning the basics of child-care. This will include a focus on knowing the importance of being able to provide a safe, warm and nurturing environment.

Would you like to be trained to be a mother and baby foster carer?

There is an urgent need for more people to come forward and become foster carers. It’s easy to find out more: just call one of our friendly team members on 020 8427 3355 or you can use Rainbow Fostering’s National Line 0330 311 2845.

We recommend all our foster carers acquire as much knowledge about their potential career as possible. Take a tour around our website and maybe visit –

or perhaps a blog that might interest you –

You are most likely to be eligible to foster?

At Rainbow, you can consider fostering whatever your ethnicity, religion – or cultural background. The same applies in relation to your sexual orientation. Also, if people are single, living as part of a couple, divorced, married – with or without children of their own – then we are here to support you becoming a foster carer. 

Rainbow has been rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted. Now, following our expansion, we are looking to recruit foster carers in London, Birmingham, Manchester as well as in the Hampshire area. 

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