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What are the benefits of being a single foster parent?

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This post is part of my series of guests posts about being a single foster parent. The first post was about what people wish they had known before becoming a single foster parent. Today they will be addressing the unique benefits of being a single foster parent. I appreciate the honest look these foster parents are giving us into the beauty and struggle of their lives.

(I have done some minor editing as needed, but I haven’t changed any of the content.)

What is the biggest benefit of being a single foster parent?

-I think the biggest benefit of being a single foster parent is that you can have a more intense focus on building relationship with those kids and helping them heal. Your time and affection can be less spread out.- Heather, Utah, 2 years, 1 child

-I can’t say I think there are benefits to being a single foster parent! It’s lonely and hard. I guess it’s good that I don’t have to deal with someone else’s emotions or moods, or have differing opinions with another parent. But if you have a good relationship, I think the good would far outweigh any bad.- Suzanne, Texas, 6 1/2 years, 11 children

-A benefit of being a single foster parent is that I was able to form a close bond with my kids. They only had to form a relationship with one stranger. I think I was able to build that relationship quicker because I was the only adult/caregiver in the home.- Becky, Nebraska, 5 years, 6 kids

-Loving kids who otherwise would have been in a group home or in the bad situation they were in. It is making a difference to that kid you have, even if it seems small- Kimberly, Pennsylvania, 4 years, 4 kids

-Obviously, the benefit of being a foster parent, single or not, are the beautiful kids!! But truthfully? Not having to combine my parenting strategies with a spouse! From the beginning, I’ve always said that it’s nice to not have to worry about making my spouse upset or vice versa with the way I parent.- Tara, New Mexico, 2 years, 4 kids

-The biggest benefit to being a single foster parent is the way it helps you to connect with your kids when you are all they have. My girls are blessed with amazing teachers, a huge church family, and both biological and foster extended families that all play a big role in their lives. But when we’re home, it’s all me. I’m the one who gets them ready for school, takes them to all of their appointments and activities, and does the bedtime routine. We bonded quickly because we’re all each other has. It also helps me to be single because of my girls’ history with their dad. They are slowly learning to trust men again, but not living with one has certainly helped the healing process.- Jennifer, Georgia, 1 year, 1 child

– I enjoy the extra people being in my home. As a single person, home can seem kind of quiet sometimes. There are obvious growing pains within the whole family unit as kiddos come and go and having to learn to adjust to different personalities. But I also think this helps all of us “grow up.”- Tami, Nebraska, 4 years, 12 kids

-You get to make all the decisions. I’ve been to multiple trainings where the topics involve “how to keep a healthy marriage through foster care” and the such, and it’s nice that I don’t have to worry about anything but myself and the kiddos.- Stephanie, Nebraska, 3 years, 3 kids

I was trying to think of a benefit unique to being a single foster parent. I couldn’t. I think the benefits are common ground. I learned a deeper reliance upon Jesus. And I was blessed to breathe Jesus into children who might not have otherwise known Him. I suppose couples can rely on each other. Not that they don’t also have to rely on God (they certainly do), but when there isn’t a partner with whom to split night shifts, hospital shifts, discipline, foster-related appts, sick days, etc, it’s different than what couples go through. God’s strength is even more essential for a single parent.- Rene, Missouri, 4 years, 5 kids

-One of the greatest blessings of being a single foster parent has been watching God fulfil His promise to be a Father to the fatherless.- Faith, Georgia, 1 year, 1 child

-Some children, depending on their trauma do better in a single parent home. Some children are wired to pit parents against each other which can really wreck marriages. Some children have experienced severe abuse from one gender and it can be healing for that gender to not be in the home. I have been able to be really consistent with my crew from day one.- Jules, Iowa, 3 years, 10 kids

-You don’t have to divide your attention between your foster children and a spouse or biological children. When my foster daughter came to live with me she had some trauma-related behavior issues. I was really thankfully to be able to concentrate on making her feel safe and loved. For a while after daycare we’d go home, and I’d just hold her for as long as it took her to relax want to play. It was a difficult first few months, but as she’s learned to trust me she’s growing into a well-adjusted kid!- Holly, Missouri, 1 year, 3 kids

-The biggest benefit is that I get all the love with no sharing.- Anne, New York, 15 years, 30 kids

-You must be willing to plant a garden and never know if your labors will ever be produced, harvested or be nourishment. We try to influence but we can’t change teens, they must want what you have to offer. Just the thought that you have given them a little love and it may change something they do later in life. Maybe they ask themselves… would Dave be happy with what I just did?- Dave, California, 5 years, 12 kids

-The opportunity to care for kiddos and families is the pay off. That applies for a couple providing foster care or single parents. Benefits specific to single parents. . . one less person to have to figure out how to co-parent with. 🙂Jami, Nebraska, 4 years, 6 kids

-Consistency. When helping a child adjust to a whole new situation, navigate brand new experiences/expectations, and work on underlying emotional or behavioral issues, I think it is so helpful to be consistent with them. Two parents can definitely do it but it takes communication and coordination between them. Also, our bond was super strong because it was just us.- Laura, Washington, 1 year, 1 child

-I think the benefit is I only have to worry about myself as far as my license and only my schedule and not having to figure out my marriage/relationship and not devote enough time to that when a child placed with you really needs you more than your spouse.- Linda, Illinois, 4 years, 2 kids

-One of the great benefits of singleness is the ability to make unilateral decisions–there’s so much freedom! I have so many friends who wish they could do foster care, but their spouse doesn’t want to. Why not take the freedom that makes singleness so great and use it to say “yes” to a huge need in our country? If you’re single, you can do what you want! So do good! 🙂Adria, California, 2 years, 8 kids

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