If you are a single mum looking to information as you consider fostering, this guide can help you. While this info is specific to the UK, it can generally be helpful for you if living elsewhere to know what to expect. Yes, you can absolutely be a single mum and become a foster parent. Below, let’s look at the requirements to become a foster carer and what to do next.
You CAN Foster and Be a Single Parent
Becoming a foster carer does not require being married, in a long-term relationship, or living with a partner. In fact, many foster carers are single parents, of any gender. A single-parent household does not mean that a foster child cannot thrive and feel supported. You do need to have quality time for them, though.
What About My Other Children?
It is absolutely fine to foster and have other children, no matter what their age. Having children already in the home can provide a loving environment as they have others to play with and talk with, instead of only an adult.
Plus, you have the skills of raising kids, and you’ve likely learned a lot! Supporting a growing child is a beautiful thing.
Can I Have A Job?
Many people are able to work a job while fostering, however, this depends entirely on your individual circumstances and your ability to fully support a foster child. You will get a fostering allowance and benefits, which enables you to care for a child, such as covering the costs of school meals, clothing, and days out, as well as providing a professional fee for you.
Fostering allowances are generally tax-free and also have no impact on any benefits you already receive. The expectation is not that you will give up your job to foster but instead that the allowance will help support the child.
What Do I Need to Become a Foster Carer?
You don’t need any special qualifications in childcare to become a foster carer. A spare bedroom is ideal and you must be over the age of 21. You must also have the legal right to reside and work in the UK.
You must also have no recent criminal offenses and you cannot be a foster carer if you have anything on your police record that relates to sexual abuse or child offences.
You could still foster if you have a criminal record for a petty crime, such as shoplifting as a teen. As long as this event is far in the past and you can show that you’ve turned your life around, you could still be a foster parent.
What Should I Do Next?
Being a foster carer is a calling. It is a chance to support, nurture, and care for children who need it the most. As a single mum, you can start fostering in Birmingham or whatever city you reside in. Simply get in touch with a fostering agency in your area to start the process and discuss your next steps.
Being a single mum does not stop you from being able to foster, as long as you meet the standard requirements. Fostering can be a beautiful experience and one that could change your life.