Parent and child fostering

Parent and child fostering

Paul Adams, Elaine Dibben


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Parent and child arrangements with foster carers are a well-established phenomenon in England and Wales; less so in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In the majority of cases, this means adults with their children living with foster carers, usually in the context of care proceedings. This is a specialist area of work characterised by the uniqueness of having adult parents in the foster home. 

This brings new challenges to fostering services that are at different stages in their development of provision for making parent and child arrangements. The issues are not straightforward, and best practice requires them to consider how this particular type of fostering differs from traditional fostering in each respect, from approval, through matching to support and training.

Who is this book for?

This guide is ideal for all local authority and independent fostering service social workers and managers who are involved with parent and child fostering, or who are considering offering such a service.

What you will find in this book

The new edition of this pioneering guide is fully updated and revised, with significant new material that takes into account innovations in good practice over the last decade. It includes information on:

  • The legal context of parent and child arrangements
  • Messages from research and serious case reviews
  • Types of parent and child fostering
  • Assessment and approval
  • Training and supporting foster carers
  • Care planning and placement planning
  • Developing policies and procedures

It is amply illustrated with case examples of good practice from local authority fostering services as well as the independent sector. It also includes a helpful set of assessment and matching forms that can be used by fostering services in their parent and child fostering cases. Please note that the forms can also be purchased as a separate electronic document for unlimited future use.

This unique guide offers invaluable advice, information and practical suggestions on how to deliver a good quality parent and child fostering service.


Paul Adams:
Paul Adams was CoramBAAF’s Fostering Development Consultant. He has worked as a social worker, primarily in local authority children’s services, managing child care and fostering teams. He has authored Good Practice Guides on a range of subjects, and has developed a number of forms and good practice guidance.

Elaine Dibben was CoramBAAF’s Adoption Development Consultant, and has over 30 years’ experience in fostering and adoption.