Can you be a foster parent if you’re single


Can you be a single foster parent?

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We have many single foster parents and these include men and women, straight and gay, with and without children of their own - so you’re very welcome to apply to foster with Orange Grove.

It's absolutely possible to be a single foster parent, however, there are some practical things you'll need to consider that will form part of the fostering assessment.

Support network - you'll have an entire professional network of support when you join Orange Grove, and our extensive training programme will help you to develop the confidence and skills you need. But caring for children – especially vulnerable ones – can be extremely challenging too, so it helps if your close friends and family support your decision to foster and will be there to help out if needed.

Space in your life - looking after children in care is an around-the-clock role, so there’s bound to be an impact on your social life – and even your work, which can make it difficult to balance everything. While some single people continue to work a flexible, part-time role, it may not always be possible depending on your personal circumstances. Many choose to rely on our generous fostering payments, which removes the need to work when looking after a child or young person.

Can a single parent foster?

Can a single parent foster?

It's completely possible to be a single parent and foster, depending on your personal circumstances, for example, whether you work, the age of your children and how dependent they are on you, and whether you have a big support network. 

Fostering as a single parent not only means that you'll give vulnerable children a safe, loving home but can also be a great experience for your birth children too. Plus, you'll receive a generous allowance and benefits package, allowing you to focus on the children in your care.

As an Orange Grove foster parent, you'll receive excellent support and great training, so it’s a great way to develop new skills and a rewarding long-term career.

If you think becoming a single foster carer is for you, please get in touch.

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Frequently asked questions

Can you foster as a single parent?

Absolutely, you can foster as a single parent with confidence. While there may be some extra challenges to navigate, such as effectively dividing your time and attention between your own children and those you care for, rest assured that if you have the love, dedication, and availability to offer, it is entirely achievable.

During our assessment process, we will carefully consider how you will handle the additional responsibilities of caring for another young individual. This includes managing additional school drop-offs, facilitating contact with their birth family, and attending necessary training sessions and meetings, all while fulfilling your existing parental duties.

It will also be vital that you have a robust support network in place as a single foster parent, comprising individuals who can lend a helping hand whenever you need it. Furthermore, our dedicated team, including a family support worker, will be readily available to offer practical assistance and guidance, ensuring you receive the necessary support to thrive in your new role.

Can you foster as a single woman?

Absolutely! Gender is not a determining factor for us. What truly matters is your ability to provide availability, love, and a nurturing family environment to a child in your care.

Over the years, we've seen single foster parents building remarkable connections with the young individuals they support. Due to the additional one-on-one time they can devote, these parents often establish profound bonds with the children they care for.

Can a single man become a foster parent?

Absolutely, fostering as a single man is not only possible but has proven to be incredibly rewarding. We are proud to have exceptional single male foster parents who have forged extraordinary connections with the young individuals they care for.

Among them, we have a diverse range of experiences. Some are newcomers to fostering, while others have been part of our foster care community for over two decades. Through their dedication, we have witnessed the young people in their care flourish and achieve milestones such as graduating from university, finding their dream jobs, and starting families of their own.

Regardless of gender identity—whether male, female, non-binary, or transgender—the assessment process remains the same. Our primary focus is to ascertain your capacity to provide a stable and loving home for a young person in need.

How does matching work as a single foster parent?

When considering welcoming a child into your home, there are several important factors to contemplate to ensure the best possible match for both you and the child in need of care.

You'll discuss this in detail with your dedicated social worker to establish your preferences for a suitable match. These preferences may include:

  1. Age Group: Determining if a particular age group aligns well with your abilities and prior experience.
  2. Gender or Gender Identity: Considering if a specific gender or gender identity might be a better fit for your nurturing environment.
  3. Capacity for Siblings: Assessing your capacity and availability to foster siblings, taking into account the space and resources available in your home.
  4. Special Needs and Disabilities: Evaluating your readiness and capability to provide care for children with additional needs and disabilities.

Naturally, these considerations must be weighed in the context of any other children living in your home. However, we encourage foster parents to maintain an open mind, as every child is unique. It is often more crucial to carefully review the information provided in referrals rather than dismiss the opportunity to make a profound impact simply because certain matching preferences may not align perfectly.

Furthermore, the matching process is also designed to ensure that you're the right fit for each individual child too. For instance, a teenage boy who has experienced domestic violence with a male perpetrator may greatly benefit from a positive male influence in his life. Conversely, a teenage girl might feel more comfortable with a female foster parent who can help them navigate those crucial teenage years, including body changes, getting their first period, and relationships. It is important to note that these are generalisations, and each young person will have unique needs that significantly influence the matching process.

Start your fostering journey here

Download our brochure and discover everything you need to know about fostering with Orange Grove.

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Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat to an expert, we're here to talk.

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