Something we frequently get asked is if you can work while fostering. Depending on the circumstances, some foster carers may choose to work alongside their fostering responsibilities, but this is not without its risks. Fostering can be considered a career in itself, but the role isn't about the money, it's about the care.
We’ve seen a number of individuals who have given up employment to commit to fostering as a full-time career. However, whether this decision is best for you is ultimately dependent on your individual circumstances in conjunction with your abilities as a foster carer. We recommend that you have a detailed discussion with one of our specialist advisors before you make a firm decision.
Family Placement’s Requirements
Here at Family Placement, we have some key criteria you need to be aware of if you are thinking of combining fostering with working outside of the home.
- You must be available at the start and end of each school day to support the child's access to school
- You need to be there whenever the child is off school due to holidays, sickness etc.
- You have to be present to meet with the social workers involved with the child during office hours
- You need to periodically attend local foster carer training events during office hours
- You need to support the child to attend appointments
- You need to attend other daytime meetings as required
We try to be as flexible and accommodating as possible, but it is imperative you can meet our requirements.
Fostering and Pay
If one of your biggest concerns is financially supporting yourself then it would be worth knowing about the entitlement you may be eligible for. If you decide to foster, you will receive a high-level fostering allowance in recognition of your skills and effort in caring for each child. Payment amount does vary according to different factors such as; a child's age and the needs of the child. In addition to this, there is a generous tax regime in relation to fostering payments. Foster carers can end up paying little or no income tax on their income from fostering.
We understand that it is very difficult to find the right balance between foster caring and other employment commitments. Additionally, this could be more feasible for couples looking to foster as opposed to single-parent fostering.
If you are not prepared to quit full-time employment just yet then there are other forms of foster care available to you, such as respite care or emergency relief. These types of fostering would suit those looking for ‘part-time’ style foster care, which allows you to work as well as foster.
To summarise, it is important that you consider your working hours thoroughly when thinking about fostering. Every case is different, and working and fostering depend greatly on individual circumstances. If you’re considering fostering and are unsure about how it’ll affect your working life then please get in touch with us on (01993) 706925 and speak to one of our specialist advisors.