Making a difference with Parent & Child fostering.

13th February, 2024

Have you heard of parent and child fostering? We wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t, in fact, Capstone foster carer who specialises in parent and child fostering, Gerlin, also didn’t know what this niche type of fostering was. We caught up with her recently to learn more about it.

What drew you to parent and child fostering?

“I didn’t even know I was doing it.” Gerlin laughs, whose first experience of parent and child fostering was twenty years ago. “I got a call about a sixteen-year-old girl who was pregnant with triplets, she met a few foster carers, and she chose me. Then she came to live with me and I helped her raise her young babies.”

“From there I didn’t look back. I’d been a young mum myself, so I could relate to her – I approach every parent and child arrangement this way, without judgement.”

What is parent and child fostering?

As Gerlin says, this type of fostering is a preventative measure, where both the parent and their baby move into a foster carer’s home. In this situation, the foster carer establishes a bond with the parent, nurturing them and guiding them on the skills they need to thrive as parents.

It could be easy to assume that most of these arrangements are young mums, but Gerlin let us know, this isn’t always the case.

“The oldest arrangement I’ve had has been a mother in her 30’s, you just cannot go into this with preconceptions and judgment.”

We asked Gerlin, what makes a successful parent and child foster carer?

“You need to be ready for anything, some of the parents I’ve worked with have wanted to be here and valued my advice, others have been more resistant.

Sometimes they feel as if you are watching and waiting for a mistake. This is not the case. First and foremost, together with the local authority, we agree the ground rules, so they are absolutely clear on what is expected. From then on, it’s a partnership. I offer support and guidance with out taking over, often I’m there to give confidence, they can make small mistakes, but I reassure them their baby will never be unsafe around me.

To be a successful parent and child foster carer you need to be well organised, not only because you have to observe and document, but also because you are helping the parent establish routines and good habits.”

“It’s also important to want them to succeed, to be their advocate and work with the parent. This is another adult you are dealing with, so you must give and take.”

Why do you foster?

“Parent and child fostering is one of the most rewarding things you can you. I have fostered children during my time as well, but there is something special about parent and child fostering.

“When you see them in their own home, with their baby, doing well. That’s a feeling like no other. A family has been able to stay together because of what I did. I’m so proud of that.”


Are you inspired by Gerlin’s story? Call Capstone Foster Care today and learn more about parent and child fostering on 0800 012 4004.

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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