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.
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.
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:
- Age Group: Determining if a particular age group aligns well with your abilities and prior experience.
- Gender or Gender Identity: Considering if a specific gender or gender identity might be a better fit for your nurturing environment.
- Capacity for Siblings: Assessing your capacity and availability to foster siblings, taking into account the space and resources available in your home.
- 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.
November 18 2019
“Fostering has had such a positive impact on my life”
Lynette has cared for 34 children in 7 and a half years. Today, she shares her experience as a foster parent.
May 16 2018
“We love him like he’s one of our own”
Suso shares how he’s fostered over 40 children in 20 years, despite losing his wife nearly 10 years ago.
Ready to start your fostering journey?
One of our team is available to talk to you over the phone to answer any of your fostering queries.
You can get in touch by filling out our online enquiry form with any queries that you may have.
Your local office
We have local teams covering most of England. Find your local office today.