A lot of people assume that only couples are accepted as foster parents, but this isn’t the case. You don’t need to be in a relationship to provide a happy home to foster children. It may well be harder at times because you don’t have someone else to share the load, but with the right skills and a lot of commitment, single people make amazing foster carers.
If you are thinking of applying to become a foster carer as a single person, here are some useful tips.
There are many kids in the foster system that need a loving family home. Foster kids don’t need you to be married or in a long-term relationship. They just need you to be there for them, have lots of love to give, and be fully committed to offering a safe and stable home.
Foster care agencies are always on the lookout for men, women, straight or gay, of any age to offer different types of foster care. To learn more about how to foster a child, speak to a foster care agency about how to get started.
Have a Support Network in Place
Becoming a foster carer as a single person is different from fostering as a couple. You don’t have that other person to share the work, so it’s important to have friends and family willing to help you out as long as they have passed the relevant checks. While foster parents do receive an allowance to help with the financial cost of raising kids, and they very often don’t work full-time, there will be times when you have to attend a medical appointment or can’t be there to pick one child up from school because you are running another child to an appointment.
Friends and family will be a godsend. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and as a single foster parent, you’ll need that village behind you. Parenting is always easier when you have help, so make sure your family supports your decision to become a foster parent.
Embrace the Chaos
There are only so many hours in the day and chances are, you won’t have enough time to do everything. Once you have children in your life, everything changes. Some kids will be more challenging than others because of the trauma they have endured but learn to ignore the small stuff and pick your battles wisely. Boundaries are essential but it’s okay if a child doesn’t want to eat the meal you cooked. Know that there will be triggers in all kinds of situations and you might not know what they are straight away.
Have Some ‘You Time’
Parenting is tough and it’s important to take a break sometimes. You can’t be available 24/7 without burning out, so don’t even try. Everyone needs a minute to decompress, and it’s harder for single foster parents to find that time. This is where your support network comes in. Use it wisely.
Fostering is hard work but very rewarding. If you are willing to give it a try as a single person, you deserve even more kudos for starting such an amazing journey.
Image Credits: Photo by Kindel Media: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-happy-family-7978485/