A lot of people aren’t aware of this, but a single person can become a foster parent even though it’s usually something you see with married or long-time couples.
Foster Parent as a Single Dad
There are some requirements that you need to meet, but for the most part, if you can take care of a foster child, you will be allowed to welcome one into your home.
You should still know what these requirements are, however, and be prepared to manage the realities of taking care of a foster child alone if you want the experience to be fruitful and enriching for both of you. Let’s take a look at a few things you should know before you contemplate becoming a foster parent as a single dad.
Rules and Requirements
To be a foster parent, you first need to have indefinite leave to remain in the UK or be a UK resident. You also have to demonstrate that you can take care of a foster child.
The minimum age to become a foster parent is 18 years old, though many agencies will require that you’re at least 21 years old to be one.
Note that you may be able to keep a job while you foster, depending on working hours, flexibility and any other arrangements to ensure you have availability for a foster child. It’s up to the agency to decide and the child’s needs will need to be taken into consideration.
You will also need a spare bedroom to foster a child. And while it doesn’t matter if you own or rent your home, you will need permission from you landlord to foster if you live in a rented property.
You May be Better Served by an Agency
People are often torn between going with the local authority or with an agency when it comes to fostering a child. But, if you’re a single parent, there’s a good chance that you’ll be better off working with an agency.
One of the main reasons for this is the level of training and support you will receive is often higher with an independent fostering agency.
A good agency will provide support to the rest of the family as well. You will also generally receive higher allowances from an independent agency, but each pay differently so you’ll need to do some research.
You have to pick the right agency, however. Agencies like Orange Grove Foster Care, for instance, have plenty of resources for new foster parents and will help you manage all the challenges that come with being a single foster carer.
A good agency will give you support in the areas you need the most while preparing you for the road ahead.
You Don’t Need to Do Everything Alone
Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean that you have to handle everyone alone. There are non-profits, ministries, independent support groups, and various other organisations specifically to assist foster parents.
Some of them will help with things like meals, budgeting, laundry, and various other foster care-related tasks. So, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask your agency or local authority if they have any external resources they could direct you to.
Don’t let the fact that you are single stop you from becoming a foster parent. Look at whether you can do so and speak with other single foster parents for advice before you make a decision.