08 June 2023

Parent and child fostering in Essex: what support is available and what are the benefits?

Parent and child fostering in Essex: what support is available and what are the benefits?

Overview: An introduction to parent and child fostering, plus information about support and the benefits for Quality Foster Care carers in Essex. Explore how much foster carers get paid in Essex. Plus, consider three top pros and cons of being a foster carer.

At Quality Foster Care, we’re experienced in supporting foster carers in starting and developing all kinds of fostering journeys, including parent and child fostering. When you welcome a parent and child or mother/father and baby into your home, we’ll be with you every step of the way. We’ll be there to support you so that you can provide the help and care that they need. This could be for a few weeks or a few months, or longer if the parent needs to undergo an assessment.

What are the pros and cons of being a foster parent?

Of course, like all careers, being a foster carer has rewards and challenges. If you’re considering applying to be a foster carer it’s important to consider these carefully. Let’s look at the top three pros and cons of parent and child fostering.

3 Pros and Cons of Parent and Child Fostering

Pros of parent and child fostering

Cons of parent and child fostering

Providing an extended family
You’ll give the benefits of extended family support to those who wouldn’t otherwise have that safety net and may not have experienced a loving family environment themselves. You’ll share your nurturing and parenting skills with parents and their babies or children.
It’s a demanding role
You’ll be involved in caring for young babies and children and helping parents build parenting skills so they can be safe and loving parents in the future. There will be lots to do and some sleepless nights. There will also be extra appointments such as health visitor visits or regular social worker meetings.  
You’ll help in difficult situations
You’ll welcome mothers and potentially fathers into your home who may be young and have little understanding of what it means to be a parent and how to meet their child’s needs. They may have learning disabilities and need patience and understanding to build their parenting ability. You might also work with mothers who have escaped domestic abuse. Your empathy and understanding will go a long way in helping and guiding parents and babies through difficult situations.
Your role may be resented
Parent and child fostering involves caring for the children and also being on hand to see how the parenting ability of mums and/or dads improves. Sometimes the parents might resent you interfering with the care of their baby/child or your suggestions for how to parent. It can be challenging to help others break habits and build routines. So, a positive and nurturing outlook is vital for the role. 
You can help keep families together
Parent-and-child fostering or mother-and-baby fostering is often chosen as the final opportunity for a child to remain with a parent and out of care. By opening up your home, sharing your skills and building relationships, you could help a family to stay together. You could change a family’s future for the better.
Not all families stay together long term
While the ultimate aim is always to keep parents and children together, sadly this is not always possible. Sometimes, this is not the best option for the child, despite your best efforts. When this happens, you’ll help the family to come to terms with the outcome. They will also have access to therapeutic care to help and support.   

Financial support for parent and child foster carers

The amount foster carers are paid depends on several factors. This includes the type of foster care they offer and the number of children and/or children and parents in their care.  The age and  needs of those they welcome into their home are also considered.

How much do foster carers get paid in Essex?

According to government figures, UK foster carers receive a minimum weekly allowance of between £137 and £240. 

At Quality Foster Care, the Essex fostering allowance is upwards of £445.70. And for parent and child foster care in Essex, our foster carers receive £850 when a family group of one parent and child stays in their home. If you welcome a family group of two parents and one child into your home, you can expect to receive £1119.

Fostering training, support and additional benefits

If you decide to join Quality Foster Care, the additional benefits, training and support we can offer you are designed to provide you with everything you need for a long and fulfilling fostering career. We’re a local provider with an excellent history of working in the Essex area. We are also a member of the Five Rivers Child Care family. Five Rivers is a social enterprise committed to transforming the lives of children and young people. Our partnership with Five Rivers means our foster carers enjoy benefits that go over and above those offered by other smaller providers, including:

  • Therapeutic support for children who have often come into foster care after a difficult start in life or have experienced trauma.
  • Access to specialist training for foster carers will help you develop as a foster carer and equip you with the skills you will need. We provide FREE training courses run by experienced practitioners. To prepare you for the challenges of this specialised type of foster care, you can attend training that’s local to you. We deliver dedicated parent and child fostering training in London, Essex and nearby areas.
  • A local office, so you can connect with nearby foster carers and their families
  • Instant access to Foster Talk – an independent organisation offering support and advice to foster carers.
  • Membership to New Family Social is a charity supporting LGBT+ foster carers and adopters.

To learn more about parent and child fostering in Essex you can visit our parent and child fostering page. Or read about other types of fostering If you have further questions about the payments and benefits available to foster carers who choose parent and child fostering, we’re always happy to help. You can contact QFC online or call us on 01268 919952; we’d love to hear from you.