Posts tagged as: Fostering Advice

Is There An Age Limit for Fostering?

There are plenty of misconceptions surrounding age when it comes to becoming a foster carer.

Many people believe that there is an age limit for foster parents. In fact, one of our most frequently asked questions is ‘how old can foster parents be?’

We want everyone to know that there is no upper age limit for fostering. As long as you have the dedication, time and space to welcome a child into your home, it’s likely you’d make a brilliant foster parent.

If you’re looking to begin your fostering journey but are concerned about how age could affect the fostering process, here’s a few things to consider!

Fostering Criteria Age Limits

Unfortunately, lots of people don’t apply to foster as they think they will be too old. However, as aforementioned, there is no age limit for fostering in the UK. We just need to make sure you have a stable living situation, have some valuable transferrable experience and a strong support network.

The only age-related restriction associated with fostering is the minimum age of 21 years old to become a foster carer. This is a legal, national requirement for foster care and is part of our fostering criteria.

An older man teaching a young boy to ride a bike.

With Age Comes Experience

At Compass, our foster carers come a variety of different backgrounds and life experiences. As a fostering agency, we want to be never too quick to judge. We understand that with age comes experience, and welcome applicants of all ages.

Many older people make fantastic foster carers, as they have the life experience to help children with more complex needs or behaviours. We have carers that are in their late 50s, 60s or 70s fostering with us, making a difference to the lives of vulnerable children and young people every day.

Many of our carers have not had their own children but want to help a young person in need. Others have had their own children, grandchildren and (sometimes) even great grandchildren! Often, our older foster parents have had their children grow up and move out, giving them the additional space and opportunity to foster.

Ultimately, we believe that additional life experience brings understanding, empathy, and valuable life lessons.

Our dedicated Family Finding Teams expertly match our foster carers with children and young people who suit their individual skillsets and experience. Our carers also have access to high-quality training and 24/7 wrap-around support. This ensures the best outcomes possible for everyone involved!

An older woman helping a young teen with her work.

The Fostering Medical

During your fostering assessment with us, we will ask you to have a fostering medical with your GP. Young or old, this is a necessary requirement that every prospective carer will be asked to have.

This is so a doctor can determine whether you are fit and healthy enough to be a foster parent, as fostering can require a lot of energy!

This assessment takes into consideration your physical and mental health, lifestyle, and anything you would need to keep in mind- like family medical history. This way we’ll know how best to support you, too.

If you think you could make a difference to the life of a child, regardless of your age, please get in touch with us!

Alternatively, if you’re wondering what the process of becoming a foster parent might look like, check out our five step guide here.


What Are The UK National Minimum Standards for Foster Care?

If you’re looking at becoming a foster carer, you might have heard of the national minimum standards for fostering. But what do the UK national standards for foster care mean, and how will they affect you as a foster carer?

The fostering national minimum standards are set out by the UK Government. They provide important guidelines for foster services, local authorities and foster carers. Their main aim is to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children in foster care.

They might seem complicated, but don’t worry – the concepts underpinning them are simple to understand!

At Compass, we’re dedicated to ensuring our foster carers are supported throughout their fostering journey with us. We’ll guide you through every step of the way, including understanding the national minimum standards for fostering!

What Is the National Minimum Standards Document?

The National Minimum Standards is a document from the UK Government, outlining the minimum fostering standards for the UK. It’s a very thorough and long document, but it’s main aim is ensuring that children’s welfare, safety, and needs are always at the centre of their care.

The document forms a regulatory framework for all those involved in fostering. There are 31 standards in total making up this framework.

These 31 standards are split into two sections: child focused standards and standards of fostering service.
A young girl running through a field.

The Child Focused Standards

The child focused standards are child-focused, meaning they prioritise the child’s welfare and happiness. These standards provide important guidelines on how foster carers can support their child’s development, ensuring that all the child’s needs are met.

Standards 1-12 of this section include considering the child’s wishes (and the wishes of significant people in their life) in all decisions related to their care.

The standards outline the importance of promoting a positive self-image for foster children, encouraging positive behaviour and relationships through excellent care, and supporting children in continuing to have contact with their birth families when it’s safe to do so.

These standards also cover some important issues like safeguarding children, promoting good health and educational attainment, and giving children proper guidance through their time being fostered and leaving care.
A happy young boy.

The Standards of Fostering Service

The Standards of Fostering Service are more focused on setting out the standards of care for fostering that a fostering service must provide.

These standards keep the foster child’s best interests at the centre of the decision-making processes, and aim to support the child and their carers as much as possible.

Fostering services have a duty to provide the best fostering home possible for all children in their care. They must run their organisations safely and efficiently and keep detailed records giving a good overview of every child’s history.

They must also pay their carers fairly and on time, and provide support and training for carers and staff members alike.

Fostering services are also responsible for making sure that everyone who works within their organisation is suitable to work with children.
A young smiling girl.

What Do The Standards Mean for Foster Carers?

The good news for carers is that the fostering minimum standards are designed to help both foster carers and foster children have the best experience possible. This means they work to ensure the best outcome possible for everyone involved.

The requirements for foster carers come down to some simple fostering criteria that all foster carers must meet. Most importantly, they must have a spare room, and they must be able to provide a safe environment where the child in their care is supported and accepted.

If you’re in the process of becoming a foster carer, the UK National Standards for foster care can give you some guidance on what to expect but you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by them.

At Compass Fostering, our friendly team is on hand to support you every step of the way – and not just because the standards say we have to! We believe that giving you the help you need to become the best carer possible will lead to the best outcomes for the children in our care.

If you have more questions about fostering or think you could make a difference to the life of a vulnerable child, get in touch with us to find out more!

You can also check out our Fostering FAQ’s here.


Can You Work and Be a Foster Parent in the UK?

‘Can you foster and work full time?’ is a frequently asked question when it comes to fostering.

Unfortunately, the reality about working and becoming a foster carer isn’t always straightforward.

There are no hard and fast rules, however it is possible to continue working and be a foster carer. Many of our foster carers chose to foster full time, while others continue working part time alongside fostering.

Regardless, there are some important things to consider when it comes to fostering and working. As with most decisions regarding foster care, our children’s best interests need to be kept front of mind.

Two male foster carers drawing with their foster child.

Putting Our Children First

Children in foster care often come from unstable backgrounds. They may have experienced abuse or neglect, which can impact their development. For many foster children, their experiences can lead to them developing a range of issues, like attachment issues or challenging behaviour.

At Compass, we believe that opportunity to provide a child with the safety and stability they deserve is one of the greatest joys of becoming a foster carer. However, to do this, you must be able to provide consistent care.

If you’re wondering, ‘can you work and be a foster parent?’, we ask that you first consider our children’s wellbeing above all else.

To give foster children the best chance, young children can’t be in full-time day-care. Similarly, school-aged children shouldn’t spend their morning and afternoons in preschool and after school care.

There are exceptions, of course, such as older children who are in homework clubs or sports. It all depends on what’s appropriate for the child.

A foster carer’s ability to meet the needs of a foster child is considered during the assessment process. Our family finding team will work with you to find the best solution for your family, but it’s important to consider your availability first.

A child hugging her caregiver while her caregiver works.

Is Fostering a Job?

When people ask, ‘can I work and be a foster parent?’, they often don’t realise how fulfilling and in-depth the career of a foster carer can be.

But can being a foster parent be a job within its own right?

Fostering is a career path many people follow, and it is usually a full-time role, with foster carers considered self-employed. Choosing fostering as a career opens many doors, especially if you are looking for a career where you can directly influence and change children’s lives for the better.

Being a foster carer is also a lifestyle and that will change everything– not just for foster children, but for their foster carers and their foster families too.

So, can you be a foster carer and work? Yes – but, before starting your fostering journey, it is vital you understand the commitment and dedication this role needs.

The children that will be in your care need your utmost love and attention, so whilst it can be possible to work and foster, most of our foster carers dedicate all their time to fostering.

A man walking his two children to school.

Work Flexibility is Essential

If you’re asking, ‘can I work and be a foster carer?’ then know that having some flexibility in your work is essential.

Foster carers need to be able to drop their child off at school in the morning and be there to pick them at the end of the school day. They need to be able to stay home if their child is ill and accommodate weekends and school holidays.

That need for flexibility is the main reason why it’s very difficult to be a foster parent and work full time. However, there are exceptions!

Some workplaces are adaptable enough to offer carers a flexible schedule, such as freelancers and contractors who make their own working hours or work from home, and can change plans at short notice. Other carers have readily available support networks that can step in when needed, like actively involved parents who live nearby.

Often fostering and working part time can be a good middle ground, providing that the working hours can be flexible. Working part time is especially well suited to respite fostering or short term fostering, as the periods that a child is staying with you will be shorter.

Ultimately, working full time and fostering can be tricky, but if you have the right support network in place, this can be a lot easier.

Grandparents looking after a foster child.

Having a Plan in Place

If you join the Compass Fostering family, it’s important to consider your situation carefully to figure out how you’d meet the needs of your foster child. If you’re asking yourself ‘can I foster if I work full time?’ we suggest you plan for any inevitable situations that may arise.

Review plans for school pick up and drop off and figure out how your child will be looked after when they’re ill or off school. Identify your support network and have clear contingency plans in place.

All these concerns will be covered in your assessment, so it’s best to have an idea of how you’d manage them ahead of time.

A woman working while her foster child draws.

Supporting Our Foster Carers

At Compass Fostering, we support our carers financially with a fostering allowance and benefits . In fact, many of our carers foster full time thanks to our allowance, which covers the costs of looking after a child as well as a professional fostering fee, and generous tax breaks.

We also support foster parents professionally by giving carers the opportunity to build careers in fostering. Our high-quality training equips our foster carers with all the knowledge and skills they need to really make a difference to children’s lives.

Every foster parent’s situation is different, and every foster child’s needs are unique. Some foster carers work, while many others don’t. No matter your situation, our recruitment and family finding teams will always consider what’s best for each individual child and each foster family.

Can you work and be a foster carer? Learn more about becoming a foster parent with Compass or get in touch with us to find out more.


Positive Qualities of a Foster Parent: Our 5-Step Approach

Our foster carers come from all sorts of backgrounds and bring their own unique strengths and abilities to the fostering experience. At Compass Fostering, we focus on building the strengths of our carers through the REACH approach. This approach underpins everything that we do at Compass and is a great starting point for how to be a good foster parent.
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Safeguarding: What Does It Mean for Foster Carers and Foster Children?

No matter how far along you are in your fostering journey, you’ve likely heard of the term ‘safeguarding.’

At Compass, our top priority is ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of every child in our care. We work hard to improve the outcomes of our children and young people, and we expect all our foster carers to share the same commitment to safeguarding the children in our care.

But what does safeguarding mean, and how exactly does it protect our foster carers and the children in our care?

What is Safeguarding?

In a nutshell, safeguarding refers to the measures taken to promote the wellbeing, safety and human rights of individuals, helping them to live free from abuse, harm and neglect.

When it comes to children, safeguarding policies and procedures exist to make sure that every child – regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, disability, race, religion, or belief – is protected from harm or maltreatment.

Safeguarding children also means actively advocating for their health and development, ensuring that all children receive safe and effective care while growing up – no matter their background or familial or personal circumstances.

Ultimately, the aim of safeguarding is to ensure that children feel safe and are safe, which is why safeguarding is so important when it comes to foster care.

A child and their caregiver holding hands on the beach.

What Are Some Examples of Safeguarding Issues?

Safeguarding issues include anything that may pose a risk to the health, safety, or wellbeing of an individual.

For children in foster care, safety risks might come in a variety of different forms both inside and outside of the home. They may occur in real life, or online.

Some of the safeguarding risks for children include:

  • Poor supervision
  • Accidents
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Domestic Violence
  • Trafficking
  • Bullying
  • Online Cyberbullying
  • Radicalisation
  • Grooming
  • Gang Involvement
  • Forced Marriage

These issues all pose a significant and detrimental risk to the safety and wellbeing of children, threatening to impair their physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development.

A child and her caregiver reading together.

How Does Safeguarding Apply to Foster Carers?

Being aware of safeguarding and its procedures and policies is essential for any individual that works or volunteers with children and young people.

In the UK, safeguarding is part of Government law, which is why it is mandatory that all individuals working with children undergo safeguarding training.

All foster carers have a duty of care to their foster children, meaning they must consistently and actively work toward ensuring safeguarding policies are upheld. The role of a foster carer involves cultivating a safe and positive environment within which vulnerable children can grow and develop into well-rounded individuals.

As a foster carer, you are expected to encourage the children in your care to take appropriate and sensible risks that contribute to normal childhood development and experiences. Part of this involves helping your young people to understand how they can keep themselves safe when interacting with the world.

This also means being aware and alert to any potential risks facing a foster child that might cause them harm, following the correct protocols and procedures to ensure that the children in your care are kept safe and secure.
A young girl hugging her caregiver.

Does Safeguarding Protect Foster Carers too?

Children in foster care have often experienced varying degrees of trauma and instability throughout their lives. This can cause a wide range of emotional and behavioural issues, which, at times, can be challenging for foster carers to manage.

Sometimes, allegations of misconduct are made against foster carers – either by their foster children, members of the fostering household, or other individuals involved. These allegations assert that the foster carer has or may have behaved in a way that has caused harm to the child.

Following safeguarding policies should help to avoid allegations like these being made, ensuring that foster carers are always behaving in a manner that promotes the wellbeing of their children.

Part of safeguarding in foster care also involves keeping a daily log that records any and all happenings that occur within the foster home. These logs might record the details of disagreements or a foster child’s behaviour, helping to provide greater understanding of certain events, should any allegations be made.

A child and their caregiver holding hands.

What Kind of Support Does Compass Provide?

At Compass, we take the safety of our children, foster carers, and staff very seriously; our safeguarding policies make sure that all those in our community – including our staff, foster carers, and children – can work and live within a safe and supportive environment.

As a foster carer with Compass, you will receive a comprehensive range of high-quality training to help support you throughout your fostering journey, including essential safeguarding training.

Every member of our community is given full guidance to help them protect the children in our care, working together to safeguard our children and support them in achieving better outcomes. Our foster carers have access to 24/7 support from our team of childcare professionals, ensuring they are able to provide the best care possible for our children.

If you think you could make a difference to the life of a young person, and are interested in becoming a foster carer, you can get in touch with us here.


6 Documentaries That All Foster Carers Should Watch

While being a foster carer is incredibly rewarding, it also comes with its own unique challenges. Caring for children that have experienced trauma and instability throughout their lives can take commitment, patience, and a wealth of knowledge.

The best foster carers are the ones that are always keen to learn. One of the best ways to learn more about fostering and how to approach the various challenges it brings is through reading, watching, and listening to other people’s experiences.

Resources like books, podcasts and documentaries are excellent for guiding and informing your experience as a foster carer. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top 6 documentaries on fostering and children’s wellbeing to help you develop your fostering know-how.

These documentaries will help to supplement your training and knowledge, increasing your understanding of fostering and the challenges faced by the children in your care.

1. Kids On The Edge, Channel 4

This three-part series from Peter Beard takes an in depth look at children’s mental health in the UK, exploring the various services offered by the NHS. With episodes focusing on gender identity, social, emotional, and behavioural problems, and self-harm, this documentary provides a brilliant insight into the minds and challenges of young people.

2. Young, British and Depressed: Dispatches, Channel 4

With the help of some of the critical voices in child psychology, reporter Sanah Ahsan explores the depression crisis facing Britain’s youth in this brief documentary. Looking at possible causes of the crisis, and the different types of treatment available for young people, this documentary asks all the right questions about the state of young people’s mental health in the UK.

3. Split Up in Care: Life Without Siblings, BBC Three

Care leaver Ashley John-Baptiste spent most of his life believing he was an only child, until he received a message one day from a man on social media, who claimed to be his brother. This moving fostering documentary explores what happens to siblings in foster care when they cannot be kept together, and the ongoing foster carer shortage at the heart of these issues.

4. Protecting Our Foster Kids, BBC Two

Following Dorset County Council’s fostering service over a year, this foster care documentary in the UK explores the intimate, day-to-day lives of various foster carers and other professionals within the county. This tv series about foster care takes a candid look at the intricate workings of the lives of children and families in foster care.

5. Ian Wright: Home Truths, BBC One

Footballer Ian Wright shares his own story about his turbulent childhood, investigating the impact that growing up in a psychologically abusive and violent home has on child welfare in the UK.

6. Finding a Forever Family, BBC News

In this brief but powerful foster care documentary/movie, journalist Jeremy Cooke investigates the world of adoption, showcasing three unique families who have adopted ‘harder to place’ children, and exploring why so many children across the UK still remain in the care system.

These tv shows about foster care provide an excellent insight into the world of social care and children’s physical and emotional wellbeing in the UK.

At Compass, we understand that, as a foster carer, the learning never stops. We encourage all our foster carers to continue educating themselves, be that by reading books, watching documentaries or videos about foster care, or accessing our specialist training courses.

We also have a wide range of recommendations on books for foster carers and foster children, ranging from fostering, gender identity, LGBT+ and racism.

If you think you could make a difference to the life of a child by becoming a foster carer, you can get in touch with us here.


Fostering to Adopt: Is It Possible and What to Consider

If you are just setting out on your fostering journey, it is important to note the difference between fostering and adopting – it might not always be immediately obvious, which is why it is vital to do adequate research before committing to anything.

If you are currently fostering a child and are looking to adopt them, there are a few things you will need to know about this process. When you begin your fostering journey, the main reason should not be because you want to adopt. Adopting a foster child is not always possible, as complications can arise (such as them still having legal ties to their birth parents). It can however still happen.

Local Authorities will only approve foster carers adopting a child or young person if there is no possibility of them returning to their birth family. Fostering is generally considered as a temporary basis. It is designed to keep young people out of dangerous situations or when they have no one else to care for them.

Your foster child may have already become a significant member of your family, which is why you may now be wondering about adoption, but from fostering, it isn’t a straightforward process.

To even begin thinking about adopting your foster child, you need to follow the UK adoption requirements. These include:

  • Being over the age of 21.
  • Having a permanent home in the UK.
  • Being prepared to undergo several thorough assessments.

The approval process for adoption may appear similar to the foster care approval process, but it is not the same. Waiting for approval for adoption can be a lengthy process and can take a while for your application to be approved. If you are considering adoption from fostering, there are a few things you need to know.

Fostering for adoption

Before anything else, you will want to get in touch with your foster care service. When you have a chat with them about this, they will be able to give you all the relevant information you need when deciding whether you would like to adopt.

If you decide you still want to go ahead with the process and you meet the criteria stated above, you will have to decide whether adoption is the right thing for you and your circumstances. This is a massive decision and should not be taken lightly; you need to think about the implications to yourself, any family you may have, and your existing commitments.

Once you have come to the decision that adopting is the right thing for you, and everything else is in place to do so, you can begin the fostering for adoption process.

Fostering for adoption is a government approach that aims to make the adoption process quicker and less emotionally draining for the children involved. This approach was also put in place to prevent children being moved from one home to the next and gives them a stable, consistent home far quicker. For the children involved, having uninterrupted care is crucial for their development and general physical and mental wellbeing.

Resources

If you have any further questions or wonder whether you can adopt a child from foster care, you can give us a call on 0800 566 8317. Alternatively, you can contact us online here.


Wearing Many Hats: What is a Foster Carer’s Role?

When children are unable to live with their birth family, they sometimes need to be looked after by a foster carer. Given that these children will have been removed from their parent’s or family’s care, for a lot of young people, this will be their first impression of what it is like to live in a safe and positive environment.

So, what is a foster carer’s role? Ultimately, the role of a foster carer is to care for the children or young people in their care. But what does this really mean and what does ‘care’ actually involve?

There are several different types of foster care, which will determine the specifics of the role of the foster carer. Sometimes, foster carers will care for a child in an emergency , which will be for a relatively short period of time. Other times, a foster carer might have a long-term arrangement whereby the child will live with them for a few years.

Although the latter is most common, it is important to know that the role of the foster carers will vary, depending on the circumstances of the fostering arrangement.

Provide emotional support

A foster carer provides emotional support for their foster children and young people. As they are their main carers, they will be there for them during not only the most difficult times in their lives, but as they navigate their childhood as well. A foster carer is the first point of contact a child will have when they come home, and when they feel their most vulnerable. Providing emotional support for foster children is essential to ensure a stable and positive upbringing, where the child feels safe and supported.

Encourage contact with families

Although a child will have been taken out of their birth parents’ care; it is still important to keep communication open, where it is safe to do so. Contact with birth families is extremely important for children and young people in foster care – and it is the responsibility of the foster carer to help maintain this relationship. This can be quite a difficult thing to comprehend, especially if the foster carer has certain opinions of their foster child’s birth family. The role of a foster carer means they need to set aside these opinions for the sake of the child.

All foster carers will receive training to help with this management and support will be available throughout the whole process.

Behaviour management

As a lot of children in care will not have come from a stable home, their behaviour can be a bit questionable at times. The role of a foster carer is to help teach them right from wrong and put in place behaviour management, where appropriate.

It is important for the foster carer to ensure that they know that any behaviour issues are not the child’s fault, and discipline needs to be handled with sensitivity and compassion, while also teaching the child that what they have done is wrong.

Manage relationships

There are a lot of people involved in the fostering of a child and this can be quite overwhelming. The role of a foster carer is to keep a good working relationship with everyone, to ensure the child does not have to worry about these things on their own. A foster parent needs to ensure that everyone is involved that needs to be and kept up to date about the child’s progress as and when appropriate.

Become an advocate and manage information

Of course, a large part of being a foster carer is the emotional wellbeing of a child. However, there is a lot more to take into consideration. Along with the daily care a child needs, foster carers need to be able to advocate on behalf of the children in their care. This will include attending meetings, supporting them through their education and working with the wide team of people involved in the child’s life.

A foster carer needs to provide a healthy, reliable family unit for every child that they welcome into their home. They need to be prepared to take on the role of teacher, parent, teammate, and confidant. Foster carers help children to cope with many complex needs, such as neglect and loss; their job is much more than just ‘care,’ it is giving children a safe haven to grow, learn and enjoy life.

If you still have a few questions, or are interested in learning more about how to become a foster carer request a digital brochure today to find out more.


Can you foster a child with a criminal record in the UK?

Firstly, it is important to recognise that every carer is unique and should be approached personally and individually. Every application is thoroughly assessed and if you do have a criminal record, many things will be taken into consideration when it comes to processing your application. However, by law, convictions that relate to offences against children, sexual offences and domestic offences can prevent you from fostering.

Serious convictions, such as sexual assault, rape and any crime committed against children, will mean you will not be able to foster.

The main thing to take into consideration is your ability to care for a child and provide a safe and welcoming environment for them. If your criminal record reflects any risk to a child, you will not be able to foster. However, if it is evident the crime committed proves you no threat to children who may be put into your care, you may still be able to foster.

Past offences do not necessarily mean you cannot become a foster carer. Children and young people need a special kind of person to really connect with and this will not be overlooked when you apply, if you are the right person for the role.

Part of your application process will include a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on everyone living at your address over the age of 18. Before going through this application process, it is expected that you talk to us regarding any criminal record you, or someone living in your household, may have. Being open and honest about these past offences from the very beginning will help to assess the possibility of you becoming a foster carer; the earlier you mention it, the better.

Talking about the past offences committed by yourself, or another person living in your household, can be a daunting prospect. However, having a criminal record will not automatically disqualify you from becoming a foster carer. Many things are taken into consideration when a criminal record is being assessed, including:

• How long ago the crime was committed.
• What crime was committed.
• The severity of the crime.
• The circumstances of the crime committed.

It is always important to be honest when applying to be a foster carer, so make sure you mention any criminal records as soon as the opportunity arises.

You can read more on the UK legislation around fostering with a criminal record here.

Alternatively, you can learn a bit more about the process of becoming a foster parent and request a digital brochure today. If you have more questions about fostering a child with a criminal record, you can give us a call on 0800 566 8317 and we will be able to answer any questions you may have.


Can Single People Be Foster Parents?

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 becoming a foster carer 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 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.