Can single people foster a child? It’s a question many people have, and understandably so since the idea that only married couples can be foster parents is a pervasive notion. The assumption is that the gates to fostering and adoption are closed to single people, but is that how things really are? Can you be a single foster parent? In short, yes: You can be a single foster parent. You can also be single and get certified to adopt.
How about the requirements? Are they different from married couples?
Single Parent Fostering Requirements
The fostering requirements for singles in Texas are the same as for anyone else: You must be at least 21 years old, be financially stable, and submit to a criminal background check. Just like with couples/families looking to foster, you also have to agree to a “home assessment” and “home study”; this determines if your home environment is safe and spacious enough for you to host foster children.
A World For Children requires foster parents in Texas to be at least 24 years of age.
How To Become a Single Foster Parent
If you meet the basic requirements, what will happen once you start down the path to becoming a single foster parent?
- The organization will first collect your personal information, income, living circumstances, and so on.
- You’ll next have to go through an orientation that teaches you all about single-parent fostering.
- Then, you’ll have the home assessment, verifying that your living circumstances are satisfactory for a child.
- As things move forward, you’ll have to go through various training courses to prepare you for fostering. These include:
- Foster Parent Initiative (FPI) – 8 hours
- Medication Training – 3 hours
- Behavioral Management & Restraint Training (TIP 1 and TIP 2) – 16 hours
- In-home learning modules – 6-8 hours
- Trauma Informed Care – 8 hours (2 in-person, 6 online)
- CPR and First Aid Training
- Your home will be visited by a caseworker, who will conduct a home study — a deeper dive into your lifestyle and environment compared to the earlier home assessment. You’ll also have your personal details and skills assessed to ensure you’re ready to bring a foster child into your home.
- Licensing/Verification will then take place, with all your documents under review for verification. Assuming you pass, you’ll receive your fostering certificate.
- You’re now ready to be a foster parent; all that remains is for a child to be placed with you!
Questions About Fostering As a Single Parent
As you know, yes, any qualified adult can become a foster parent, regardless of relationship status. And, you also now know how to become a single foster parent. Beyond the requirements and training, though, there are other things you need to consider before you can truly commit to fostering as a single woman or man.
Becoming a foster parent is a beautiful and rewarding choice, but is it right for you? Can you be a single foster parent? Yes! However, it’s also worth asking yourself a few questions before you embark on this journey.
Are you comfortable parenting a child alone?
For instance, a couple looking to foster or adopt can rely on each other if the going gets tough; single-parent fostering, on the other hand, puts all the stress on you. Are you comfortable facing that challenge? Think deeply about giving all of yourself to parenting a foster child placed in your care before deciding to pursue the calling.
How much of yourself can you devote to single-parent fostering?
This then begs the question of how much attention, energy, and time you actually have to spare as a foster parent. How is your work-life balance? Will you be able to focus on your foster child when you finish work? Is your work stressful, and will that impact your ability to be a caring foster parent? If you work from home, is your work the sort that will permit you to break away from time to time to spend time with your foster child?
You must be able to devote all of the time and attention required for the sake of any foster child placed with you.
Do you have a support system in place?
Finally, who can help you be the best foster parent you can be? Yes, by choice, when single parents are fostering… you’re on your own. This doesn’t mean that you don’t need a support system in place. Who around you will help care for your foster child if you get sick? On whom can you rely for the difficult times? You need to have a supportive network of friends or family members who can be with you through this journey.
Single Parent Fostering With A World For Children
There is nothing quite so rewarding as welcoming a foster child into your home and giving them the love and support they so dearly deserve. Not only can you be a single foster parent, but you can also thrive as one.
If you’re determined to dedicate yourself to single-parent fostering, let A World For Children know now. There are many children in need of a loving home, and you can be the foster parent they need. Contact us today to get started.