In this blog, we’re going to answer some of the more frequently asked questions in relation to the fostering/working balancing dynamic.
Can I work and become a foster carer?
In short, yes! In most cases, it is unrealistic for a foster carer to be expected to give up their steady income to become a stay at home parent. Each foster case will be handled differently, focusing on the needs and requirements of the individual that’s being fostered. There are a number of factors that could come into discussion when talking about your working life whilst looking to foster a child; such as, will you be a single carer, is your employment full or part-time, what hours will you be working and so on.
How does full-time employment affect my fostering situation?
Generally speaking, foster carers are expected to look after their children and be able to provide the time to care for them whenever required to do so. This would include things such as attending parents evenings or school meetings, looking after them after school hours and supporting them with homework where appropriate, as well as supporting them emotionally through their ups and downs, or even staying in contact with the child’s biological family.
If you’re considering becoming a foster carer as a couple (who both work full time) you would often have more flexibility than a single carer (simply due to having an extra set of hands available if one parent couldn’t make a specific calendar appointment). Having two individuals in the picture helps lighten the load – particularly if you’re looking to maintain a full-time job.
Can I make a career out of fostering?
Foster caring is a time-consuming role, not just in terms of raising a child/family, but also in terms of all the work that goes on behind the scenes (report writing, handling paperwork, contributing to fostering reviews, liaising with a number of social, health and education professionals).
Foster carers receive a weekly fostering allowance that is considered enough to cover the costs of looking after a child in foster care. This should include basic things such as clothing, food and pocket money – however, there will be some flexibility around how this is spent when it comes to your family dynamic.