Fostering as a Single Parent
While the old myth that foster families need the old-fashioned traditional family unit of mother and father persists, the reality is that single foster parents are eagerly sought after. Becoming a foster parent is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things you can do.
You, as a single parent, can be just you. The main requirements for fostering are that your health is good, your home has a spare room for a child or young person, and that you can pass through a DBS check. Ideally, you will be at least 25 but under certain circumstances, being 21 is sufficient.
Because you are considering being a foster carer, chances are good that you have a patient, caring, and compassionate personality. Being a parent calls for these traits in abundance. Being a single parent takes a little extra energy because you don’t have a partner to talk it all over with. Being a single foster parent takes away some of this pressure because you are part of a network.
During the application process, you work with a social worker and attend training sessions and meet other foster carers and people also applying to be carers. This is where your network begins. As part of the Capstone community, you are never alone when it comes to the inevitable moments of concern that are part and parcel of parenting. Capstone’s support for foster carers is comprehensive.
Fostering is a way to build a new and fulfilling career, caring for children who need you and your skills, abilities, and love. A single person can become a foster parent and it is important to emphasis that the single person can be a female or male foster carer. Being a foster parent is not a gender specific role.
There is an expectation that the foster parent will be available 24/7. The child will be in school during the day and this means that the foster parent has this time free to work outside the home. The reality is that there are meetings with teachers, the agency’s social worker, and other professionals about the child’s education, health, and social adjustment. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a single foster parent to have a job outside the home.
Finances are often a concern for a single parent who may have to leave the house to work. Foster care payments take away some of those financial pressures. The allowances cover the cost of housing, clothing, and feeding as well as incidental expenses. There are additional payments for special needs and requirements.
As a carer, you may have preferences as to the type of placements you get. Some prefer short term or emergency placements while other prefer a long term placement. It happens that a short term placement can become a long term placement. There is no way to guarantee the length of a placement because each child’s situation differs.
Carers who focus on providing respite care have a more certain situation because the respite care is planned in advance with the parents, foster or not, who need the respite. It is also important to mention that the most common placements are older children (age 10 to 18). The majority of kids in care fall into this age group.
Thinking of fostering? Don’t let not being a two parent family stop you from taking that first step. There are children and young people out there who need you to help them live a safe and happy life. Contact Capstone Foster Care for more information on 0800 012 4004, or simply click here.See more articles…