One of the most common misconceptions about fostering is that you cannot do it if you are single. This is not true because many foster care agencies allow single foster carers.
Also, single carers comprise a significant portion of the foster care community. Just like fostering when you have a partner, there are a few things you need to know if you want to be a single foster carer.
All foster carers are assessed the same and must meet specific requirements before an agency can consider them. You must be over 21, have a spare bedroom, and be in good health.
You should also not have committed any offenses in the recent past. Any would-be carers who have committed crimes related to child offenses or sexual abuse are not considered for foster care. However, those who have committed petty crimes like shoplifting in the distant past might be considered if they demonstrate that they have changed their lives and are no longer the same person.
You must undergo a thorough application process whether you are single or in a relationship. If you meet the criteria above, you can contact a foster care agency such as FCA Scotland through their website fcascotland.co.uk. You also need to fill out a form outlining your interest in fostering.
You will then have a home visit or attend an information session. The purpose of both is to educate you about your role as a foster carer if accepted, as well as inform you of any additional requirements.
Once you have done this, you will complete an application form to start the formal application process. The agency will conduct various checks, including home and background checks, and visit your home to ensure it is conducive for a foster child.
You will then complete various courses that arm you with the skills and knowledge you need to be a great foster carer and to ensure you provide the highest level of care to any child in your care.
The next step is attending a foster panel, where an independent group will go through your application. If successful, you will be matched with a foster child who will be in your care.
As a foster carer, you must provide round-the-clock care to the child or children in your care. You will be involved in different aspects of their lives, including taking them to school, attending to medical emergencies, arranging different events, and being involved in their hobbies and interests.
You must consider how much time you have and what you will give up due to this commitment. However, you can always make up for this by attending events organised by the agency. You will meet other carers and foster children there, creating a community and support group you can rely on.
It is possible to be a single foster carer, but you must meet all the requirements others have to. You will also need to readjust a few things to ensure you provide the love, care, and support the foster child or children need.