We are often asked “can I be a foster parent if I am single?” It is widely held belief that in order to foster a child, you need to be married or have evidence of being in a long-term relationship. You might be surprised to know that this is not the case; single parents can foster too. In fact, some of the best carers are single parents, who may or may not have children of their own.
The main concern we have, as a fostering agency, is that the children are in a safe and stable environment – if you think you can give this to a child, then do not let being a single parent, or your relationship status, stop you.
The process for is thorough – but your relationship status will not affect your application. As long as you’re passionate about caring for children, can offer a safe home and you have some grit and determination – you will make a fantastic single parent foster carer.
What are the benefits of being a single parent foster carer?
There are many benefits of becoming a single parent foster carer – but it is important to keep in mind that the main benefits should be that of the children.
Single foster carers are dedicated and often have the time to be flexible, while also being fully committed. In this role, these two things are essential. As a single foster parent, you may be able to offer alternative forms of care that people in a couple may not be able to offer, such as respite care, specialist care and emergency care. By being flexible, you will be able to give a child (or children) the love and attention they need, for as long or as little time as they need you – and this is invaluable.
As well as knowing you are doing everything you can to change the lives of the children and young people in your care, there are a few other benefits to take into consideration too. As a single foster parent, you will receive financial support for each of the children that are brought into your care. This financial support will also still include any working tax credits, child support or any other financial support you may already receive.
If you are looking for more information on the financial side to fostering, you can read all about our fostering allowance, fees and pay here. We also have a handy guide to filling out a foster carer’s taxes here.
When fostering, the most important thing to consider is how ready you are for the commitment. Fostering is a full-time role and should never be seen otherwise. It should not be a quick decision, and no matter your circumstances, you should make sure you are ready before making any kind of commitment.
Our team will always be around to support you throughout the whole process, right from the very start, but you need to make sure you’re ready when moving forward with the application process.
If you have any more concerns or questions regarding fostering as a single parent, please get in touch with us on 0800 566 8317 or alternatively you can request a digital brochure today.