Fostering Babies and Young Children


Can you foster a baby or a young child?

Whilst it is possible to foster a baby or a young child, the number of babies in foster care is substantially lower than other ages of children in need of foster placements. Government reports have estimated that only 5% of children in care are under the age of one.

So, while there is a demand to foster babies, the likelihood of having a baby or young child in your care is relatively low. This is because babies and young children are often placed with other relatives or family members before they are placed in foster care.

However, Parent and Child fostering arrangements offer a rewarding alternative that allows carers to nurture a young child, whilst providing guidance, support and a safe environment for their parent(s). The demand for parent and child placements also significantly outweighs the number of babies in foster care, which makes it a popular choice for those who are passionate about supporting children through their first years. Read on to learn more about babies in foster care and the types of foster care available. 

Why are babies taken into foster care?

Though it is rare, babies and infants can be placed in the foster care system. In most cases, local authorities would have intervened, though there are instances where parents may voluntarily place their young child into care.

Reasons why babies and young children are taken into foster care include:

  • Substance abuse – the biological parents have drug and/or alcohol problems that prevent them from being able to care for the baby.
  • Neglect – the baby or young child has experienced physical/emotional abuse, or inadequate care.

  • Child protection – a baby or young child is born to a mother or father whose previous children have been removed from them for reasons of child protection.

  • Awaiting adoption – the baby or young child has been given up for adoption by the parents, and there is a brief interval between the handover of the baby and the adoptive parents taking over.

Types of foster placements for babies

When babies are placed into foster care, there are typically two types of foster placements. This includes short-term placements and emergency foster care placements.

Short-term fostering

Babies or young children may be given short-term placements whilst they await adoption. It is likely that foster carers for babies will experience various short-term placements.

Emergency fostering

This type of foster placement involves removing a baby or young child from their biological parents in an emergency. This could be due to an incident that has happened in the home, where the child is no longer safe and needs immediate protection.

Parent and Child fostering

Though the likelihood of fostering a baby or young child is relatively low, parent and child foster carers are very much in unprecedented demand. Therefore, we encourage carers looking to foster babies and young children to consider this highly rewarding alternative.

Parent and child fostering is where local authorities aim to keep the biological parents of a baby or young child together, providing it is safe to do so.

Parent and child foster arrangements, otherwise known as mother and baby arrangements, place parent(s) into foster care alongside their baby. This is different to fostering babies and young children, as it involves caring for both the parent and child. Whilst needs may vary, foster carers will need to undergo specialist training to ensure everyone’s safety whilst the parent(s) are being assessed.

This type of placement is likely to occur when the parent or parents are finding it difficult to care for their child independently and are in need of additional help, that they may not have access to from family or friends. In a lot of cases, the mother or father of this placement could also be a young girl or boy themselves, who need support and guidance whilst developing the necessary skills to raise a young child.

If you’re looking to learn more about this type of placement, take a look at our parent and child assessment page here.

Fostering babies and young children with Capstone

If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, Capstone Foster Care will be with you every step of the way. Whilst it is not possible to choose which child is placed in your care, we ensure to match you with a suitable placement for your specific skillset.

When you foster with Capstone, you become part of our family. We help you become the best foster carer you can be by providing you with training, support and expertise. For more information about our fostering process, get in touch with a member of our expert team today.

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.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

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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.