Day in the life of a Mother and Baby placement
It’s a short walk as a Mother and Baby enters the Foster carer’s home for the first time, a Mother who is vulnerable, scared holding a newly born baby. These mothers may arrive with their social worker straight from maternity hospital, worried uncertain and anxious about the future. Some of these mothers may have had previous children removed for reasons including drug abuse, abusive relationships and Mental Health issues, or some degree of Learning difficulties. This type of work is hard, but fun and rewarding. Some mothers will leave placement along with their babies and some will have them removed; these babies move on to adoption. Nothing can prepare a Foster Carer for a Mother and Baby placement as they are all different, they come with their own individuality and many different challenges.
A Foster Carers role is to support and give advice when needed in a way that is non-judgemental. Having a good sense of humour certainly helps, it can be a lots of fun, and also very stressful.
This work is 24/7, as some mothers cannot be left alone with their baby or even go out in the community alone. Mum and Baby are accompanied at all times with the Foster Carer until a time the placement agreement has been reviewed and relaxed. This is when the mother and baby are doing well.
If the placement is not going too well, a Foster Carer can pull their hair out, and may well be deprived of sleep. During all this, a Foster Carer has a duty to keep upbeat, record and report any safe guarding issues, ensure mother nurtures, comforts, keeps a routine, safeguards the baby and feeds baby safely, while ensuring baby is meeting its developmental mile stones.
Whilst the house smells of dirty nappies and baby powder, baby crying a mother who is untidy, always on their mobile, appointments to be made, it’s wonder full job. These mothers have different values of bringing up a baby, and many come from chaotic families and backgrounds so understanding, patience and empathy is needed.
As Foster Carers can feel like they could a melt down swinging from the light fitting! But all is OK, (supervision greatly received) carries on supporting Mother and Baby professionally whilst safeguarding, having loads of fun along the way!.