Welcome to Fostering Hope, an online resource for foster carers and social workers who are involved in parent-and-child foster care. My name is Lucy November. Having worked as a teenage pregnancy midwife I moved into parent-and-child foster care in 2012 and was keen to get some additional training and meet other foster carers specialising in parent-and-child.
I found very little training available, and what training there was mostly focused on observing and recording, rather than the complex role of supporting the development of a positive parent-child relationship in the face of issues like intergenerational abuse and neglect. There seemed to be little in the way of up-to-date practical information on pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period, maternal and infant mental health, or promoting attachment. There was also no platform for online peer support or recognition of the specialism within the wider fostering community.
The Sir Halley Stewart Trust funded me to research experiences of parent-and-child foster care and to develop resources. I spent a year running focus groups all over the country and met some amazing parents, foster cares and social workers. It became clear that most foster carers had a similar experience to me and were desperate for some additional input and support. You can read about the research which I did at Kings College London here. There is also a 'best practice recommendations' poster that you can download and print off.
I drew together a virtual group of experienced parent-and-child foster carers to help me to work on content for this website. Fostering Hope is designed to be a forum for up-to-date information, practical tips and ideas, and to provide links to other useful resources and organisations for foster carers and social workers as we all seek to provide the very best service for parents and their children.
Alongside this website, the Fostering Hope closed Facebook group is a forum for foster carers to meet up and encourage and support each other. We hope you will join us!