This is a myth – there is no requirement to be married to foster. Can you foster? Can you change lives? Take our quick survey.
Anyone can apply to foster regardless of whether you are single, married, living together or in a civil partnership. Mandy is a single foster carer and shares her story with us.
I am a single parent to a 14 year old son. I have been a foster carer since my son was 9 and have looked after five different children so far. We have moved two children on to adoptive families, a sibling group on to another foster carer and our latest baby is soon to go home to his mum. We love to socialise with other carers and enjoy going out to walk around a local park together each Sunday.
I had always wanted a large family but circumstances didn’t allow. I didn’t realise for a long time that I could foster as a single parent. An old school friend came to the nursery where I worked with her foster child and convinced me that I could indeed foster as a single carer. I am so glad that I took her advice and went to the information evening, I haven’t looked back since.
Fostering is a very emotional job, it’s impossible not to fall in love with a tiny new born placed in your care 24/7 especially when they don’t leave you until they are 9 months or 15 months old. By then you have had the joy of helping them thrive, of watching their first smile, crawl, steps, tooth, the list is endless.
It is a joy to record their journey with photographs and keepsakes in a memory box ready to pass on to their new families. Just knowing you play a small part in giving them a great start in life is an amazing feeling.
Contact with birth families can be hard to manage as often whatever you do isn’t good enough for their children. Sometimes it can be as much as five times a week which really limits what I can do with my own son in the school holidays so we have had to be more creative and plan in special quality time, but the joys of being a big brother far out way the disadvantages for my son.
I would definitely recommend fostering to anyone; you just need to be realistic about which age group you can best help. Having a good support network of friends and family is very important as fostering can be quite isolating at times especially if your placement has challenging behaviours which make social situations hard. Alternatively watching that child settle with your family and grow in confidence is something really very special.
In the borough that I work we have a wonderful network of carers and we meet every week for coffee morning and have trips to the beach in the summer and Christmas party’s where our children can all come together and share their experiences and support one another.
Can you foster? Can you change lives?
There is a constant need for foster carers with a shortfall of around 9,000 in this year alone.
Don’t delay; start the process today.
Find out if you fit the criteria to foster by completing our quick online survey. (only 11 tick box questions)
Call Fosterline in confidence to find out more about becoming a foster carer on 0800 040 7675. Qualified Fosterline Advisers are available 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.