Contrary to popular belief, being single does not stop you being eligible to foster.

Thursday 24 March 2016

Can I foster if I’m single? We’re regularly asked this question by people interested in becoming foster carers, and the answer is – absolutely.

Contrary to popular belief, being single does not stop you being eligible to foster. And yet, despite this being well publicised, there are still huge misconceptions about whether or not it’s OK to be a single foster carer – with as many as 30% of people questioned about fostering assuming that you have to be in a relationship.

So, to clear up any confusion about the issue of relationships and fostering, here we cover the basic points about how we approach your relationship status when you apply to become an NFA foster carer.

Do I need to have a partner to foster?

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No, you don’t need to be in a relationship to foster. Many of our foster carers are single, and manage the situation as well on their own as they would with a partner. This is the case whether you are male or female, so don’t let your relationship status put you off enquiring.

We accept applications from singles, married couples, co-habiting couples and divorcees, as well as same gender couples. We believe that a person’s relationship status shouldn’t affect their ability to take good care of a child, so never discriminate against anyone who applies to foster.

However, we do ask that those in a relationship and co-habiting have been doing so for a reasonable amount of time. Children need a stable and loving home where they can feel safe, so it’s important that your relationship is strong enough to maintain the added pressures of taking care of a young person.

Mum and son in kitchen

Who can foster?

We welcome different histories, experiences, abilities and knowledge, and believe that everyone has the capacity to meet a child’s needs. We’ll work closely with you to make sure you’re matched with a child who suits your personality, skills and experience, and will provide ongoing training and support to help ensure you become an effective foster carer – whether you’re in a relationship, or going it alone.

Each foster carer brings their own unique mixture of history, experiences, abilities and knowledge and uses them to help children and their families. Relationship status should not prevent anyone applying who believes they have the ability and time to make a difference to a child in foster care.

What training and support will I receive as a single foster carer?

We understand that fostering as a single carer can be extremely challenging. That’s why we offer full training and support to all our foster care families, including a basic Skills to Foster training day which helps prepare you for your first foster child placement.

After you’ve completed our Skills to Foster training course and your first placement has moved in, you can access more comprehensive and targeted training to help you progress and develop your skills as a foster carer. This training will differ depending on the needs of the child and what you’d like to learn, and our training support coordinators will liaise closely with you to make sure you can always access the appropriate learning resources.

As well as training, all our foster families can access a range of support options, including a 24-7 helpline, local support groups and direct contact with a designated social worker. You’ll very much feel a part of a wider community, so you can get the help you need when you need it.

We hope this guide clears up any doubts you have about your eligibility to foster. For more information or to apply, visit our homepage or give our team a call today on 0330 022 9135.