Michelle Sylvester, our Supervising Social Worker (SSW) at the Next Step Taplow office has been newly appointed as our ‘Parent and Child Champion’. A Social Worker with over 10 years of experience within Fostering, Kinship / Family & Friend’s Care and Child Protection, Michelle will keep fellow SSW’s and Foster Carers up to date with the latest Parent and Child research. In addition she will provide support and advice – including clarity about the Carers’ roles; assistance to help Foster Carers to recognise and manage the distinct needs of both the parent and the child; masterclasses in ‘succinct report writing’ and ‘provision of evidence for Court’. She will also support her colleagues in continued good social work practice in planning and supporting both the parent and their child.
The number of parent and child arrangements that we are seeing within Fostering is growing rapidly. In the past there has been a pattern of ad hoc arrangements, to allow teenage parents to remain with their baby. However, the new demand includes the placements of adults with their children, usually in the context of care proceedings. This is a specialist area of work, given the complexity around the legal status of the parent and child, as well as the uniqueness of having adult parents in the foster home. So it is vital for any agency to offer dedicated support to its SSWs and Foster Carers to ensure the best care and support possible.
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