Male foster carers can often be the first positive male role models that children meet and play a vital role. Yet they face their own challenges in a role traditionally considered for women. The Fostering Network has information, helplines, publications and an online community to offer help and support to men who foster.
For many children in care living with a male foster carer will be their first positive experience of an adult male, giving them the chance to explore the formation of trusting relationships and having contact with men who understand their needs.
Thousands of men are foster carers in the UK, either as part of a couple or as single carers. Yet many men are deterred from becoming foster carers because it has traditionally been perceived as a female profession, and men are often considered not to want to work with children.
In addition, fostering services do not always engage effectively with their male foster carers. Some male foster carers report that social workers only want to speak to their female partners about the children in their care, while others feel marginalised at events and training which they think are geared towards women. Some men whose partners are the primary carer also report that they don’t have access to training and other professional development opportunities, as these are often held during traditional office hours.
How we can help male foster carers
Our book Men Who Care: Experiences and Reflections from Male Foster Carers emerged from a storytelling workshop run by the University of Glamorgan’s StoryWorks team. It contains personal stories that challenge the stereotypes around men and foster care.
Our member helplines
Our online community