It may only be October, but the mince pies have hit the supermarket shelves. Here at Footprints we’re wondering how soon we can sneak a pack into the office and when we can legitimately watch Love Actually again. Ok probably not yet. For the moment then, we’ll content ourselves with thinking about Alan Rickman and Colin Firth, two of its amazing actors whose relationship went much deeper than co-star.
After Rickman’s death, Firth fondly wrote about his late friend, how he had offered guidance, personal wisdom and generally taken him under his wing. In short, Rickman had been both his friend and mentor in life. Similarly, during Oprah’s interview with Maya Angelou, she opened-up on considering the legendary figure not only a wise presence, but also her mother, sister and friend.
Our point? That even the best of us need a little support sometimes and other times we can all be that support. And this is super true in fostering, although perhaps not in the way you’re thinking. Parent and child fostering is mentoring levelled-up, but what exactly does it involve and could it be for you?
We guess the name really gives things away, but parent and child foster placements involve fostering a parent with their own child. For up to 12 weeks, both stay in your home with you and anyone else living there. Most often, these placements involve a mother and their baby, but other situations can occur. As usual, the carer’s role is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for whoever arrives.
However, unlike regular fostering, these placements are more hands-off. The parent takes lead responsibility for childcare while you provide them with support, knowledge and time - enabling them eventually to look after the child unsupervised and integrate into the community.
It is a great and fulfilling opportunity to have a long-lasting impact on the life of a family and, while it can be challenging, ultimately, carers report it is incredibly rewarding. And as you may well know, foster carers are excellent at reporting.
Whether you are older or younger, single or a couple, you could make an awesome parent and child foster carer. Many people find they can use experience from their own time parenting or transfer skills learned working with parents and children in other sectors. No experience need not be a barrier though as we provide full specialist training and on-going support from our team of fantastic social workers. All you need is a spare room (yes, just the one) and space to accommodate a couple of extra house members. The rest we can help you with, including a competitive pay rate.
So, whether your own children have grown and flown and you’d like to parent again, or if you simply want a rewarding career helping others to make the best of themselves, or anything in between, we’d love to hear from you. You can find out more about our parent and child fostering opportunities and contact us any time to chat things through. Possibly over a mince pie.