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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 care of a foster carer.

Parent and child fostering, also known as mother and baby foster placements, is a type of foster care where a parent (usually a young mother) and their baby live with a foster family. This is typically because the young parent requires extra guidance and support, or because they may have learning difficulties or mental health challenges.

What’s included in the parent and child assessment?

As part of the parent and child fostering placement, there will also be an assessment which will be undertaken over a period of three months. This assessment will be managed by an experienced Excel Fostering social worker, or a social worker from the local authority.

The assessment is primarily to determine the parent’s ability to look after the child and monitor the relationship between the parent and the child over the course of 3 months. The social worker from the agency or local authority will meet with the family every week, and follow the ‘Framework for Assessment of Children in Need and their Families’ (Department of Heath)’.

What can you expect from the parent and child assessment process?

Here at Excel Fostering, our role will be to prepare the court report (the fostering assessment), which is negotiated at the time the placement begins. By completing this part of the process, this also means we are on hand to offer comprehensive support and supervision to parent and child foster carers through our specialised team. The foster carer and the parent will be met each week by the assessing social workers to complete the assessment.

As a parent and child foster carer, you will need extensive therapeutic training and support – as you will need to make concise, factual non-judgemental reports on what you observe of the parent and child relationship, and the experience itself. Additionally, you will be trained in Recording and Observation in Parent and Child Arrangements. This includes:

  • Observation and experiencing the world of the child
  • The critical role of observation and recording in child welfare
  • 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)
  • What are we looking for? ‘Good enough’ parenting, attachment and practical skills
  • What parents bring with them: being observed and establishing a ‘baseline’

Additional support for parent and child

For those parents and children who are successful in their placements, there is the opportunity to continue receiving support through the option of a community-based assessment/ monitoring programme. This programme determines whether the level of parenting developed during the assessment has been maintained post-placement when they have returned to the parent’s own environment. This level of continued support is available in the form of bespoke packages, which are agreed on an individual basis, as well as some ongoing coaching and modelling.

For more information on the parent and child assessment, get in touch with a member of our friendly team here at Excel Fostering. Alternatively, discover the other different types of fostering placements available.


Ways to

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

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You can contact us by phone and speak to our fostering advisors who are available to talk to you about becoming a foster carer.

01253 712734

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You can contact us by completing our online form and our fostering advisors will respond to your queries within 24 hours.

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