Foster parents need to be supportive, nurturing and patient, so if these are characteristics you possess, it really doesn’t matter whether you’re single, married, or in a relationship. It certainly doesn’t matter if you are male or female either! What is important is that you are able to offer a child a caring home and that you can provide a bedroom within that home that a child can call ‘a space of their own’.
If you’re a single person who is considering becoming a foster parent, you should know that your relationship status shouldn’t hold you back. Many single parents choose to become foster parents and there are plenty of foster parents who don’t have biological children of their own. So if you have some experience of caring for children, perhaps in looking after younger relatives or as part of a career, you will still be considered.
Fostering and Flexibility
Many single parents find they are unable to work traditional 9-5 jobs because of childcare commitments, but they make good candidates for foster care because they have experience of parenting and are able to fully commit to a fostering role for one or more children.
Whether you’re a single parent considering becoming involved in foster care or you’re simply a single person, you will receive financial support to help you afford to look after the extra children in your care. Financial support is available in the form of foster care payments and you may also be able to claim working tax credits depending on your situation.
You can find out more about foster care payments and how they can provide or supplement your income to give you greater flexibility as a foster parent in our recent blog post: do foster care payments count as income?
Foster Care and Full-Time Work
Foster carers do need to be able to devote a significant amount of time to look after the children in their care. If your work or career makes it difficult for you to commit to foster care full time, there are other ways you can support children.
If you are single and work full-time hours you may be able to provide valuable respite foster care over weekends or during school holidays. This allows other parents or carers to take a much-needed break and gives children the opportunity to undertake new experiences, and to benefit from additional care and alternative positive role models.
Could Fostering as a Single Parent be an Option for You?
Whether you foster as a couple or an individual, the key thing to remember is that you’re never on your own because as an NFA carer, you are part of a strong fostering network. You’ll have 24-hour access to professional advice if you ever need a second opinion, or just wish to talk something through.
If you’d like to find out more about becoming a single foster carer, you can register your interest and request a call back on our site here. If you have specific questions about fostering as a single person, include some notes in the comments field and we’ll be sure to address them when we chat.