Fostering as a single male carer

There are many myths surrounding who can foster, one of them being ‘I’m a single man, can I foster?’ The answer to this is yes. Being a male single carer can have a successful impact on a child, someone who is coming from a family with no positive male role model present can often benefit from the nurturing and care provided by a male foster carer.

We caught up with Foster Carer Geoff, who has been fostering for nearly 3 years and has made positive differences to those he’s cared for.

why did you decide to become a foster carer?

I had been single for about 10 years, not had any children of my own and was missing not having young people in my life. There were a few things that I thought may have prevented me from being able to foster such as ‘I live in a flat with no outdoor space’ and ‘am I too old to foster’. I thought I’d give it a go anyway, so I made an initial enquiry to foster and was re-assured that these were not barriers to foster.

did you specify age ranges of the children you wanted to foster?

The lovely team at Foster Wales Cardiff discussed the different types of fostering with me throughout the assessment process and I opted for 10-16 years old as I felt I could help an older child more. I was matched with someone in this age bracket, and he’s been with me for 3 years, we’ve formed a great relationship.

what transferrable skills do you think you had that have helped you as a foster carer?

I worked in sales and management at a construction plant, so was a very different line of work but there were skills that have helped me throughout fostering such as organisation, good communication, understanding and resilience.

what are the biggest challenges and rewards in your fostering experience?

The biggest challenges have been his education; he has difficulty learning and often got excluded from school when he first came to live with me. He has come on brilliantly in the last 2 years, he even won an award for the most improved pupil. There were comments from teachers saying he’s the loveliest boy they have taught; he shows good manners towards the teacher and education and is a joy to teach. It made me feel good, it made him feel good.

why did you decide to foster with foster wales Cardiff?

I spoke to private agencies as well as Foster Wales Cardiff but because the local authority is not for profit, I felt it was more important in the well-being of the child rather than profit.

I was grateful that Foster Wales Cardiff put me in touch with experienced carers of 20 years whilst going through the process, they talked me through all the challenges they had faced and made me aware of the realities. My social worker is excellent, they give me great support and I also get time where respite carers cover for some weekends. There are lots of training courses available too.

How would you sum up your fostering experience?

I love being a foster carer, the only regret I have is I wish I had started earlier. It’s much more rewarding than any job I have ever had. I will keep caring for him until I’m confident he’s safe on his own.

want to start your own fostering journey?

If reading Geoff’s story has encouraged you to think about becoming a foster carer, then we’d love to hear from you. 

Living in Cardiff, Wales? Send us a message and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

If you live in Wales, visit the Foster Wales website where you can find all the information and contact your local authority service.

Story Time

Stories From Our Carers