Can you be a foster parent if you're single?

We get asked this question a lot. The answer is yes, you don’t have to be in a relationship to foster – you just need to care and be able to demonstrate you have a support network.

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As a single foster parent you will need to be able to demonstrate you have a support network.

We have so many foster parents within our team who foster as a single person.

Actually, being a solo foster parent can be an advantage in some cases where a child can only be placed with a single male or female foster parent.

At FCA, we have created a supportive community so you never feel like you are fostering alone. We encourage you to attend our carer support groups, which are a chance to meet other foster parents, share experiences and make new friends. Whilst the events and activities are an opportunity to have fun and to mix with fostering families and staff, our friendly teams are always on hand too.

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Be part of our strong community

Foster care can be hard work, so we want you to have as much fun as possible too. That is why we host a number of events and activities giving you the opportunity to make new friends, meet up with old ones whether that be for support or just a catch up.

Our local support groups are also another great way to connect with other foster parents, whether that be to get some handy tips or just socialise.  At FCA you really are never on your own.

You will also receive support from our experienced team of social workers and other professionals, right from the very start of your fostering journey. We want our fostering community to stay connected.

Fostering allowance

Our foster parents deserve to be rewarded for their hard work of caring for children. That’s why we offer generous and competitive fostering allowances and payments. When considering if you can foster, finance is an important factor. Our financial calculator is designed to help you.

Financial calculator

can i foster if I'm single? Men who foster

Single men and fostering

A myth that we often hear is that single men can’t foster.

At FCA, we have many successful male foster parents, gay and straight; some are single and others foster as part of a family. A person’s gender does not make the foster parent, their personal qualities do; and men, single or otherwise, make supportive, caring and positive role models to children and young people.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to pay tax on my fostering allowance?

Foster parents are classed as self-employed so when you start fostering, you will need to register as self-employed and file tax returns.

This means you’re entitled to tax relief on your income. You could pay very little or no tax or national insurance, depending on your own financial circumstances.

You will also be entitled to qualifying care relief which means you will:

  • Earn £10,000 from fostering before you have to pay tax
  • Get tax relief for every week you foster a child

Learn more from our allowances page

Can I still work and be a foster parent?

Sometimes, you can still work part-time or flexibly based on your situation.

Ideally, we prefer that at least one foster parent is available full-time. This ensures that the child or young person in your care is well looked after.

As a foster parent, you have responsibility for day-to-day tasks; the school run, being available during school holidays, attending medical appointments on behalf of or with your foster child, attending training, and reviewing meetings. Should you have a problem on an odd occasion, your supervising social worker can help you make alternative arrangements.

To find out more and discuss your personal circumstances, call 0800 098 4156.

Who can apply to become a foster parent?

Anyone can apply to foster with us. We welcome foster carers from all walks of life; no matter what your gender, age, race or sexual orientation. We do have criteria though:

  • You need a spare room
  • You need to be over 21
  • You ideally need to commit to fostering full time
  • You need to have British Citizenship or indefinite leave to remain

Learn more about the fostering process

Get in touch

Whether you’re ready to start your journey or just want to chat, contact our fostering team today and we'll answer all your questions.

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0800 023 4561

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