All the single ladies (and men!) Ever thought about fostering?
Don't let being single hold you back from fostering! This blog explores how we welcome and support single foster carers
Single?... Become a foster carer
Did you know…
Around half of all Coventry City Council fostering households are single carer households!
Children who come into foster care need stability, support and nurture while other professionals are working with their parents or relatives to assess and hopefully resolve the issues which are preventing them from living safely at home.
Qualities that foster carers need include:
- 24-hour commitment
If this sounds like you, then it really doesn’t matter whether you’re single, married or in a relationship, male or female, gay or straight! If you can provide a nurturing, positive home environment for a child, or children and can provide a bedroom within that home that a child can call ‘a space of their own’ then we’d love to talk to you!
If you’re a single person interested in becoming a foster carer, you can be assured with Coventry City Council your relationship status won’t hold you back. Many single parents choose to become foster parents and there are also lots of foster carers who don’t have biological children of their own but other experiences of caring for, or working with children that they bring to the role.
We know that people don't come into fostering 'for the money' but because they want to make a difference, however as the bills don't (unfortunately) disappear in a cloud of good will when you become a foster carer, it's important, especially for single carers, that the financial benefits of fostering are understood.
Fostering payments are made to foster carers when a child or children are ‘in placement’ – or in other words, living in the fostering household. With the exception of our Everest scheme, payments aren’t made during any gaps in placement. As a Coventry City Council foster carer you are however most likely to have regular, local placements as we always look to our own team of foster carers before exploring other options. It might be of particular interest to single carers to understand how fostering payments are classed in regard to tax, tax credits and some benefits. So we have produced a handy leaflet on the additional tax allowances given to foster carers and The Fostering Network has a wealth of information on this and a helpline which all Coventry City Council foster carers can access through our membership with them. Do call us though if you want to talk about any of this with our team
The main challenge of being a single foster carer can be having someone to talk to about fostering, the difficult situations and also the achievements, sometimes small but significant moments that only other foster carers, or social workers would understand. As Adele, one of our single foster carers shares: ‘I cannot stress how important peer support it. My fellow foster carers have kept me going through the hard times - but also celebrated the good times with me! When your child is able to cope with something for the first time, or sleeps through the night for the first time, my fostering friends are there to enjoy that with me’.
In Coventry we have a thriving Coventry Foster Carers’ Association who we work closely with to provide a number of support groups and social events as well as informal mentoring and support and online forums. This ‘peer support’ is available to all of our foster carers on top of the allocated social worker visits, 24 hour support and ongoing training and guidance that all our foster carers receive. Foster carers also, during a placement, work alongside the child’s social worker to assess the child’s support needs and to plan for the long term future of the child. Foster carers are a crucial part of the team of professionals who work with children to help them develop and reach their potential.
Most foster carers in Coventry are ‘approved’ to care for children aged 0-18 but most foster carers state a preference for a particular age range which we use for matching the right children with the right foster carer. During the assessment and matching we’ll take into consideration the needs of the child and also the fostering household and any children already in the household.
Coventry needs more foster carers from a range of backgrounds and with different skills and life expereinces that they could bring to the role and we would welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you may have – you can comment below or get in touch with us by calling the team today on 024 7683 2828 or enquiring online
It’s time to make a difference.