There is often a misplaced myth that fostering is only fit for a traditional family or married couples. However, the main requirements are that foster parents must be loving, nurturing, and patient, therefore it doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, or in a relationship as long as you exhibit these qualities. It also makes no difference whether you’re a man or a woman.
Can You Foster as a Single Parent or Carer?
Yes, you can foster as a single parent or carer as long as you meet all the legal requirements of becoming a prospective foster carer. Other things to consider when thinking about becoming a foster carer are:
- Your personality traits – you will need to be patient, kind, caring, empathetic and love working with children. Resilience is also very important as you may find yourself taking care of a child when they are at their most challenging.
- Your financial stability and how you will manage during the short periods where you may not be caring for a child and therefore not receiving an income from fostering.
- support network – fostering as a single carer can take a little extra energy because you don’t have a partner to share responsibilities with. Fostering with Fitzgerald Fostering you will be part of a strong network of like-minded carers and have access 24/7 support, but it is also important you have a strong persona support network.
Why Choose to be a Single Carer?
Fostering is incredibly rewarding, regardless of whether you are fostering with a partner or on your own. You’ll get fostering training and support during the process, as well as a fostering allowance to cover any needs the child, or children, may have during their placement with you.
Fostering can be a career too. Because of childcare responsibilities, some single parents are unable to work in regular 9-5 jobs, whereas fostering offers flexibility and enables them to be available to meet the needs of children in their care. For many fostering can be their main source of income.
Being a foster carer is a big commitment and like caring for birth children you need to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therefore, being a single foster carer can be challenging, with a need to balance fostering alongside other commitments. As a foster carer you will often be required to attend a range of meetings related to any children you look after, and these often occur during normal working hours. It is also worth exploring who within your personal support network will be available to ‘babysit’ for any children you look after so you also get some time ‘off’. Another possible option if you are not able to commit to being a full-time foster carer would be to offer respite care for other foster carers. This is a very valuable support to full time carers enabling them to have a break and recharge.
How to Become a Single Foster Parent
If you’re thinking about becoming a single foster carer, the best thing to do is go ahead and apply. Even if this means working part-time at first or taking on short term placements while you adjust to caring for another person besides yourself.
Fitzgerald Fostering provides an open and supportive environment, free from judgment and support throughout your fostering career.
If you are interested in discussing the fostering options available as a single parent, please get in touch by giving us a call on 01753 550031 or fill in the contact form, we will get in touch.