Families come in all shapes and sizes - so can a single person foster too? If you’re thinking of fostering, there’s already a lot to consider - if you are single you might also be asking additional questions such as “can you foster as a single carer?” - and the good news is yes, you can.
If you are over 25 years old with a legal right to work in the UK and an available spare bedroom, then you already meet the initial requirements to become a Foster Carer. It’s also important to have a good understanding of both the processes and the challenges involved so that you are well-equipped to provide a child or young person with a safe and loving home.
Robust safeguarding and risk assessment is essential to fostering - which is why our fostering process involves a full and detailed assessment taking around eight months to complete (depending on your circumstances). For further information, please see our contact page or you can also visit The Fostering Network where you can find information on legislation, statutory guidance and best practice.
Fostering requires key skills such as effective communication and the ability to understand children’s need. When deciding whether to foster, it helps to be informed if you are just starting out on your fostering journey, our Readiness Quiz can help you to feel confident in your decision - while our preparation training sessions can help prepare you for the journey ahead.
In training you’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about the rewards and challenges of fostering while meeting other prospective and experienced Foster Carers. Wherever you are in your journey, it’s important to understand that (just as with any other child) fostering is a 24/7 commitment requiring compassion, flexibility and emotional resilience.
Many children and young people placed with foster families come from difficult situations and require stability and consistency. Through preparation training you’ll also learn how to build positive relationships with your child or young person so that you can support their growth and development throughout the various challenges they might face. You can find out more about Fostering from the perspective of one of our amazing young people here.
Experience of childcare (whether in a workplace setting such as a nursery or looking after family members) isn’t necessarily essential - although it can help you to better understand the challenges of caring for children. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to look after children, our preparation training can help you feel more equipped for the journey ahead.
Some Foster carers work full time, part time - or not at all, depending on individual circumstances. As a single person, it’s important to consider how you’ll manage work and life commitments while having the time and energy to dedicate to childcare. Living on a single-person income comes with its own challenges - which is why a fee and allowances are provided to help you support you and the child. For more details, please visit Citizens Advice for Scotland - or you can contact a member of our team here.
The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” might resonate with single Foster Carers more than most - so it helps to identify who is in your “village”. Peer support, professional guidance and help from friends or family members can all help to support you throughout your fostering journey. More details on fostering in Scotland (including information on foster care training) can be found on our “Becoming a Foster Carer” page - where you’ll find plenty of helpful resources and information.