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Men Who Foster

“My name is Gordon and I am a foster carer from the North-East of England. I have decided to write this article after reading an article in the Foster Care magazine about male carers and their views on fostering on a joint basis with their wives or partners, as it seems sometimes in a joint foster household the female carer makes the decisions while the male care sometimes feels left out of it.

This may be because the male carer is at work or working away and it is the female carer that has to make the day-to-day decisions. My own personal view is that male carers should be involved in any major decisions that have to be made whether they work away or work at home.

I also think that a lot of male carers think, as they work or work away, that if they go to meetings with Local Authority Social Workers or other professions, their voice may not be heard. This is not the case in our household as both my wife and I go to most of the meetings and I do make my voice heard.

I have spoken to several male carers in our office and one carer shared how he found that even though he works, he believes that fostering is a 24 hour 7 day a week vocation, so he needs to be involved in decision-making. During the time he and his wife have fostered they have changed their lifestyle to fit around fostering. He believes that his involvement in fostering, with his wife, has changed his life in many positive ways and that he has been able to offer children many positive experiences.

In conclusion I would like to say that in my view and the view of other male carers that male carer’s views and opinions should be listened to. Whether they work or not it takes a special type of person to take on fostering as it is not an easy job and often means that they have to make changes in their life to accommodate this, as do their wives and partners. Being a male foster carer who also works full time is a situation which, at times, can mean that you feel not listened to or recognised as an equal in the foster home.

It can also be difficult juggling work commitments with those of a foster carer, and this can lead to male carers feeling isolated. One way that these feelings can be helped is through male foster carers meeting up and discussing what they do, how they feel etc. as a male foster carer, and also having some social time with men who are in a similar situation.

I am interested in setting up a male foster carer support group in the North East, if you would be interested in attending a group, which could be on an evening or weekend please get in touch with Gordon via Also if you have any ideas about how we can improve the support for male foster carers please get in touch with me.”

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