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Positive Male Role Models in Foster Care

This Father’s Day we are celebrating all the men who foster, care for and work with young people!

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.
The Fostering Network

Children need a variety of role models in their lives – strong, positive people who shape how they behave, view the world around them and influence the decisions they make.Carer

While the importance of men within the foster care system is clear, they are statistically very underrepresented and supported in the fostering communities. Male foster carers play a hugely important role to young people, either as single carers or supporting their partners.

It’s not just boys that need a positive male presence, a young girl having positive experiences of interacting with men will shape their perception of relationships, the opposite sex and understanding their role in society.

There are several myths around fostering which can stop men from considering fostering.
These include the belief that single men can’t foster, you must have your own children, you can’t be in a same-sex relationship, and you must be a homeowner, all of which are simply not true.
Martin Leitch, Head of Fostering at Five Rivers, ‘Letters to Editors’, Father’s Day 23

We need to encourage more men into foster care by raising the profiles of men’s experiences looking after children, and by offering more support to those who foster.

Learning more about what male foster carers do, their different roles and responsibilities and if they foster with a partner (male or female) will help to build a better idea of where the support lacks for men considering foster care.

Could you be a positive male role model to a young person in care?
You can find the right type of fostering that suits your lifestyle and ability. At Five Rivers, we have options for short-term or long-term placements, working with children of all ages, from infants to teenagers and young adults.

If you’re a male foster carer or interested in fostering, take a look at these resources available from The Fostering Network:

This ‘Men Who Foster’ course in England, Scotland and Wales, explores the idea of the ‘positive male role model’ and aims to promote ways in which men can be more effective carers. This course is for men only.
Men who care

If there are no male-focused support groups in your area, why not set one up? This helpful guide will get you started!
Men who foster – A guide to setting up support groups for male foster carers

Carer with child

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