Can Single Parents Foster Children?
Many single parents have risen to the occasion when it comes to fostering children all throughout the US. About 30% of all foster children in the US are taken in by single parents who are looking to make a difference in that child’s life.
In fact, in recent years, over 100,000 single parents in the US have stepped up to the challenge of raising foster children. Fostering children is a great path for many single parents to follow. Some choose to do so in lieu of adoption or having their own children. Others choose to do so after a divorce from a former spouse. Yet others choose to foster children in retirement or after their children grow up and are out on their own.
What Are The Requirements To Become A Foster Parent?
Requirements for foster parents, whether single or a couple, are largely the same. While some requirements vary by state, most state governments require the following criteria to be met in the home studies when fostering children:
- homes must meet building and fire safety codes (all states)
- homes must be kept clean and in good repair at all times (all states)
- 38 states require firearms to be locked in approved storage or safety containers at all times
- 46 states and the District of Columbia require working smoke detectors to be installed in the home, 30 states, District of Columbia, & Puerto Rico require working fire extinguishers to be present in the home, and 18 states require carbon monoxide detectors to be installed and to work in the home
- 19 states require minimum square footage in the home per child
- 21 states and the District of Columbia require there to be only so many children allocated to each bedroom in the home
- 40 states do not allow children of the opposite sex to share a bedroom
- 33 states, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands prohibit children past infancy from having to sleep in the same room as an adult
States will also have social workers conducting interviews with the family to determine if the potential parent is a good fit to foster children. Background checks and drug tests are to be administered. Some states will require minimal income levels (varying by state) and training to obtain a license for parents to be able to foster children as well.
Requirements vary by state as to what requirements an individual or couple must meet in order to foster children in their homes.
Yes, Single Parents Can Foster
Single parents can indeed foster children. Although it may be more challenging with only one person doing all the work and making the income, it is done on a regular basis. If you feel that you are eligible to foster children, check with the local program in your state for more information on what requirements you must meet to help change a child’s life forever.
For more information on foster parent requirements in your specific state, please feel free to contact us.