Parent and Child Assessments

A parent and child placement is a type of fostering where a parent and their own child, in most cases a young mother and baby, require extra support and guidance, so stay in the home of a foster family.

During the parent and child’s stay with the foster carers, an assessment of the parent’s ability to parent the child takes place over a three month period. Learn more about parent and child placements, or continue reading to find out about parent and child assessments from our detailed guide.

What is a parent and child assessment?

A parent and child, or mother and baby, assessment occurs over the course of three months in a foster family’s home. This assessment is undertaken by a qualified, experienced Capstone social worker, or a social worker from the local authority. In order to assess the parent’s ability, this social worker will meet with the family every week, following the ‘Framework for Assessment of Children in Need and their Families’ (Department of Heath).

We recognise that the act of being observed, knowing a record is being maintained by the carer, is likely to impact on parental interaction. That’s why this assessment is conducted over a period of 3 months and is solely evidence-based – meaning a high level of therapeutic skills is needed to become a mother and baby foster carer.

What to expect as a Capstone parent and child foster carer

Here at Capstone, we will prepare the court report (the foster assessment), which is negotiated at the time the placement commences. By doing so, we offer comprehensive support and supervision through our team of social workers and therapists. The assessing social workers will meet with both the carer/s and the parent/s every week to undertake the assessment. They will also be available between times, if required, and there will always be more frequent phone support – meaning you’ll be in safe hands every step of the way.

As a parent and child foster carer with Capstone, you will receive extensive therapeutic training and support. You will be trained to make concise, factual non-judgemental reports on what you observe of the parent and child relationship, and the experience itself. You will undertake specialist training in this area, which will be conducted over 3 days. You will also need to be trained in Recording and Observation in Parent and Child Arrangements, which includes:

  • The critical role of observation and recording in child welfare
  • What parents bring with them: being observed and establishing a ‘baseline’
  • What are we looking for? ‘Good enough’ parenting, attachment and practical skills.
  • Observation and experiencing the world of the child
  • The impact of our own biographies on the observation process
  • The art of recording: separating fact, opinion and feelings; recording sequences and detailed interaction; what you see and what you don’t see
  • Managing the emotional impact of the work.
  • Understanding the Assessment Framework Triangle (DoH)

The training prepares you to undertake this specialist placement, which in turn, provides the parent of the child with the best opportunity to succeed.

On-going parent and child support

For the parents who are successful in their assessments, we can continue working with these parents through the option of a community based assessment/monitoring programme, in order to determine whether the successful level of parenting has been sustained in the parents’ own environment. This can come in the form of bespoke packages agreed on an individual basis, which would also include some ongoing coaching and modelling, as well as announced and unannounced visits.

The duration and frequency of these visits are determined at the exit planning stage, with a gradual reduction to appropriately monitor progress and maintain safeguarding. This has proved to be very useful to parents who have already established effective working relationships with the team.

For more information on our parent and child fostering assessments, or to find out how to become a mother and baby foster carer, get in touch with a member of our expert team here at Capstone.


Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

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Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.

Download a Brochure

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Capstone Foster Care.