To apply to be a Single Foster Parent you will need to show that you will be able to develop a reliable support network.
Every Agency has single foster parents who they work with.
Being a single woman or man foster parent is an advantage in situations when a child can only be placed with a single male or female foster parent.
Can a single woman or man be a foster carer?
Of course! If a foster carer is single, their assessing social worker will explore what would happen if they formed a new partnership or a significant relationship.
For male or female carers who experience separation or divorce, whilst fostering, new relationships should be covered as part of their reassessment as a single foster carer.
The Agency will expect that the foster carer will let them know about a potential new relationship and the carer should be made aware that an assessment would be needed at some time.
Single Parent Support Groups
All Agencies have specific Single Women and Single Men Foster Care Support Groups where a single woman or man carer can have extra support so that they never feel like they are fostering alone.
Foster carers are encouraged to participate especially the chance to meet other foster parents, share experiences and make new friends.
The Groups are funded and supported so that events and activities happen for carers to have fun and to mix with fostering families and if invited, Agency workers.
Single Man and Woman Foster carers
We know that there are many single people both male and female, who have thought about fostering but have been put off from applying because they think couples are preferred, especially if they were married.
If that’s you, think again! Especially if you’re male because all applicants are needed to help with the 10,000 vacancies across the UK.
Simply put, Agencies need and want more foster carers who can support and encourage foster children and young people, whether you are a male or female person or a single parent.
Fostering isn’t about typical parenting families, it is about professional care, patience and tolerance along with all the other requirements and personal qualities that foster carers need.
However, there are certain things you’ll need to think about because there’s no doubt that being a single man or woman foster carer can be more complicated than fostering as a couple.
Largely because there’s nobody else to share the responsibilities with you. Fostering Network of Support.
Single Woman and Man Fosters Carer's View
‘Don’t rule yourself out, there are lots of single, male foster carers like me and we meet in our Support Group. and at training events. So you can do it too. I know people from all walks of life who would be suitable and do foster after being married or separations and divorce. Of course there are some situations when it would be easier if there was two of us, but they are usually ok with help and advice from my supervising social worker, and some support from the family and friends who are checked out.’ Tom, Foster Carer. Aberdeen.
There are homes without a positive male role model. A single male foster carer could be the first step on the child’s road to recovery from abusive experiences and/or long standing negative behaviours. Male foster carers can help to reduce the negative view some children and young people may hold of men they have had in their lives.
In changing this view, single male carers can help a foster child to develop trust and respect so that they will make better decisions when making and maintaining future relationships.
Working from home.
Foster carers need to be there for the foster children 24/7, including being able to drop everything to collect them from school if they’re ill. You’ll need hands on support from time to time and although your Agency is always available, it really helps to have close friends and family you can rely on in an emergency.
Fostering can be the best choice for people, singles or couples, who want to work from home and have a part or full time career working as a foster carer.