Parent and Child Fostering in the UK: Nurturing Families and Strengthening Bonds

Fostering is a multifaceted system of care in the United Kingdom, encompassing various forms of support for vulnerable children and families. Parent and child fostering, a unique subset of fostering, focuses on providing support to parents who need guidance, mentorship, and a safe environment to learn and grow with their children. This document delves into the significance of parent and child fostering in the UK, the processes involved, and its profound impact on families.


The Role of Parent and Child Fostering 


Parent and child fostering, also known as mother and baby fostering, is a specialized form of foster care. It involves providing a nurturing environment for a parent (usually a young mother but could also be a father or a couple) and their baby or young child. These placements are designed to support parents in developing their parenting skills, building strong attachments with their children, and addressing any challenges they may face.

The Process of Becoming  a Parent and Child Foster Carer

Becoming a parent and child foster carer involves a unique set of skills and qualities. These carers must have experience in parenting and possess the ability to guide and support young parents in their journey. The approval process includes background checks, home assessments, interviews, and reference checks. Carers receive specialised training to equip them with the skills necessary to mentor and support the parents in their care. 

Support and Resources for Parent and Child Foster Carers

Parent and child foster carers receive comprehensive support from fostering agencies, local authorities, and social workers. This support includes regular visits, access to training, and guidance to assist the parents in building their parenting skills. The carers play a vital role in modelling positive parenting behaviours, nurturing the parent-child relationship, and helping families become more self-sufficient.


Parent and child fostering has a profound impact on the lives of families. It provides a safe and supportive environment for parents to develop their parenting skills and build strong, healthy attachments with their children. These placements are often instrumental in preventing the removal of children from their birth families and promoting family reunification.


  • Preventing Family Breakdown: Parent and child fostering can prevent family breakdowns by offering support and guidance to parents during difficult times.
  • Positive Parenting Models: It offers parents the opportunity to learn and adopt positive parenting models, leading to improved parenting skills and greater self-confidence.
  • Strong Attachments: Parent and child fostering helps parents and children build strong and healthy attachments, which are essential for the child’s development and well-being.
  • Family Reunification: In many cases, parent and child fostering contributes to the successful reunification of families by addressing the challenges that led to the placement.


  • Complex Needs: Families in parent and child fostering may have complex emotional, psychological, and social needs that require specialised support and intervention.
  • Parental Resistance: Some parents may initially resist the guidance and support offered, requiring patience and skill from foster carers.