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Wiltshire Council calling for more parent and child foster carers to provide a helping hand in the early days

Wiltshire Council is asking for more people to come forward as parent and child foster carers and enjoy the "most amazing feeling in the world" of setting families on the right path to living independently

Published 12 June 2024

Wiltshire Council is asking for more people to come forward as parent and child foster carers and enjoy the "most amazing feeling in the world" of setting families on the right path to living independently.

Louise and Brad have fostered for just under 30 years, looking after a range of children and young people and having a positive impact on their lives.

They put themselves forward as parent and child foster carers as they wanted to do something different and put their skills to good use.  They have provided foster care support for two parent and child placements and they still keep in contact as they have moved on with a positive life. Louise and Brad recently attended the wedding of one of their parent and child placements.

Louise explained: "The parent and child fostering is intense, but it is for a 12-week period and once you've finished you get a break. It's very steep learning. We've done two placements and both of them are now successfully back home and stay in touch."

Louise and Brad help the parent develop the skills to take on parenting independently. After two successful placements they feel very proud of how they have contributed to helping a parent create a happy home for their baby. They have fostered both mum and dad placements and mum and baby placements.

Louise and Brad support the parents to carry out essential tasks to be able to care for the baby independently. One of the challenges is standing back and ensuring the parent can look after the child themselves. "You've got to support someone to do that skill and you have to step back as much as possible. It's generally about supporting someone to do the job and it can be quite frustrating especially when you have to tell them again and again. They need useful tools and every family is going to be different."

While Louise would cook for them for the first couple of weeks, she would then encourage them to manage their budget responsibility and take on tasks including looking after the baby and doing household tasks. Teaching life skills including getting them to keep their house clean and make sure they wash their sheets and bedding.

She advises: "You've got to go with a mindset that this is going to work. I would say it's the most amazing feeling in the world when you take them back to their own flat and to their family there is not a feeling in the world to match how proud you are just seeing them going home as a family.

"It is amazing - there's no greater joy. You are so pleased when they change the nappy, put everything away and they look at you and say 'yes I've got this' and you think 'yes you have' that makes it worthwhile."

Cllr Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: "We need more parent and child foster carers to join us. We will provide you with ongoing support and training so you're not alone. Fostering with your local council means all money goes into fostering. We make sure you have good support and training and our payments to our foster carers reflect the importance we place on this role."

Payments for parent and child foster carers are from £1,020 per week for one parent and one child.

For more information visit our website email fostering@wiltshire.gov.uk (opens new window), call 0800 169 6321 or text the word Foster to 60002.

You can join an online fostering session to find out more about fostering at one of our events in June or July.

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