A myth that we often hear is that single people can’t foster. We have many successful foster carers – male and female, gay and straight, and with or without their own birth children etc – who are making a real difference in children’s lives.
At UK Fostering, we welcome foster carers from all walks of life and with all sorts of life experiences and personal qualities. If you can provide a stable home, we’ll equip you with the training and support you need to really support a child or young person.
However there are 3 top concerns that we regularly here from people who enquire about fostering:
- I’m not sure if I can manage financially?
Did you know that you get an allowance paid to cover the costs of caring for a foster child and the additional household expenses e.g. utilities? Also, whilst it is preferable for a foster carer to be at home full time, you could perhaps work from home as long as very flexibly around the needs of the foster child. An allowance does not match most salaries but may work for your circumstances and should not affect any government benefits that you may receive.
- As a single person, can I only foster a certain types of children?
Foster children come with a range of needs and personalities, just the same as all children! Whilst all foster children of all ages and backgrounds need a safe, caring home environment irrespective of one or two carers, many children may actually benefit from being placed with you purely because you are a single carer. This could be perhaps due to the child having had difficult experiences with a carer of a particular gender or needs a positive role model due to past experiences. Based on the information known, we will also ensure that we match a child’s needs to your household (including any of your own children).
- Can I manage alone day to day?
Perhaps you are already doing this as a single parent to your own children, however you are not alone as a foster carer. You have your own social worker that will visit you regularly and is there to listen, support and guide you. There is 24/7 phone support if you have an emergency. On a social level, you will also get to know lots of other foster carers at training and support groups, as well as at the foster family events that we hold regularly throughout the year. Of course, you also have your own friends and family outside of fostering who are already part of your support network but also now may become your designated babysitter/back-up carer!
I hope that this may allay any worries that you have about coming forward to find out more. We’d be delighted for you to get in touch with us today to find out more about how you can make a difference to a child’s life.
By Lynsey Dobbs, Senior Recruitment Officer
*Yes, Beyoncé IS singing in my head as I write this