At Compass, our foster carers come from a range of different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common: a passion for making a real difference to children’s lives.
‘Can you be a single foster parent?’ is one of our most frequently asked questions. Many people are concerned that being single will affect their eligibility to become foster parents, however this is not the case!
If you’re looking to begin your foster journey and are wondering ‘can you foster as a single parent?’, here are a few things to consider!
Meeting The Fostering Criteria
While there’s nothing to say you can’t be single and foster, there are a few key fostering criteria you’ll need to meet in order to become a foster carer with us.
Above all else, we ask that all our applicants are over the age of 21 and have a spare bedroom before getting in touch with us. This is non-negotiable and is part of the UK’s national requirements for fostering, meaning you’ll encounter these basic criteria with all respected fostering agencies.
Alongside these, we also ask that our applicants have permanent leave to remain in the UK, are in good health, and have the time, space and dedication to welcome a child into their home.
As long as you meet these key fostering criteria, it’s likely you’d make a great foster carer – regardless of your relationship status!
Applying To Be a Single Foster Parent
Once you have met our initial criteria and submitted an initial enquiry, you’ll begin our fostering application process.
Our fostering application process is rigorous but being single shouldn’t stop you from applying to become a foster carer – nor will it hinder your application process. We want to be the fostering agency that is never too quick to judge, and we look for the potential in all our applicants.
As a child-focused fostering agency, the safety and wellbeing of our children is our top priority. We know that the role of a foster carer has various responsibilities can be demanding at times, which is why we need to make sure a child or young person will be safe in your care.
Our application process will help give us a better idea of what you would be like as a foster carer, as well as helping you learn more about fostering. As a single person, we’ll need to make sure you have the time, resources, and support system necessary to properly care for a foster child.
Fostering As a Single Parent
Fostering is an incredibly rewarding career, offering carers the opportunity to witness first-hand the impact of the work they are doing.
As a single foster carer, you’ll be able to develop strong, personal bonds with the children and young people you care for. They will rely on you as their carer, mentor, parent, and friend – looking to you for support and guidance as they navigate life.
As a single foster carer, your increased flexibility may also mean you’re able to offer types of fostering that those who foster as a couple cannot offer. For example, you may be able to offer respite care, specialist care or emergency care – helping to provide safety and stability for a child or young person in their time of need.
Supporting Our Single Foster Carers
Of course, single parent fostering will come with its own unique challenges.
Fostering asks a lot of carers, both socially and emotionally, and not having someone else to share in the responsibilities can be difficult. However, with Compass, we’ll make sure you benefit from 24/7 support from your friendly local team throughout your fostering journey.
“Becoming a foster carer is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Yes, it can be quite challenging at times, especially as a solo carer. But the help and support I receive from Compass is endless. No regrets, best decision ever and I wouldn’t change it for the world”.
Sarah has been a single foster carer with us since March 2021, and says fostering is one of the best things she has ever done.
Our support includes high-quality training, regular support groups, professional guidance and a generous fostering allowance aimed at taking away some of your financial pressures. This comes on top of any other working tax credits, child support or other benefits that you may already receive as a single individual – allowing you to focus your energy on providing excellent care.
Speak To a Single Foster Carer
It’s natural to have some concerns about fostering while single. Becoming a foster carer is a big decision, and not one that should be taken lightly.
At Compass, we know that sometimes the best thing to do is speak to someone with first-hand experience. Our single foster carers know this too, which is why they’re more than happy to speak to potential applicants like yourself!
If you’d like, we’ll put you in touch with one of our single foster carers to talk more about your application. They’ll answer any questions you have, and give you an honest, insightful look into their lives – helping you get a better understanding of what it’s like to be a single foster carer.
If you’d like to speak to one of our single foster carers, or to find out more about how to become a foster parent with Compass, get in touch with us here, or give us a call on 0800 566 8317 for more information.