Can you work and foster?

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If you are wondering if you can work and foster the simple answer is YES!  However, there are a few things you may want to consider if you are looking to combine fostering with other employment, which we have covered below.

How can fostering fit in with my life?

There are many different types of fostering with to suit varying levels of flexibility - from just one weekend a month providing short breaks care to full-time and permanent. Some foster carers consider starting as part-time 'respite' carers providing short stays for children two weekends a month, but then progress to full-time fostering once they have gained confidence and experience.

Foster Carer Lesley

'My career has been everything for me, but since having a foster child, my priorities have totally changed and I’m enjoying watching him grow and flourish into a good person.'

Foster Carer, Lesley

Working full time and fostering

We have a number of foster carers who work full time as well as fostering, and they are able to do so because of the flexible nature of their work.  

Working from home and / or flexible working hours means our carers can be available to meet a child's needs - this could picking them up from school every day, taking them to family contact time or attending meetings.  A good support network of friends and family who can help is really valuable too!   

If you work full-time alongside fostering, you would be more suited to caring for a school age child or young person.  Babies and pre-school age children would require you to be present more and there is likely to be a higher level of contact with families that you would need to support.

Part-time fostering

If you feel part-time fostering would be a better fit for you at the moment, you may want to consider providing respite / short stays and short breaks for children with disabilities.

Respite / Short Stays

Respite / short stays fostering works for foster carers who would like to care for a child but may have work or other commitments that mean they cannot commit on a full-time basis. Some foster carers start with short stays to build up their experience and confidence before moving to full time fostering.

Short Breaks

Short breaks care helps to relieve the pressure on parents and families caring for children with disabilities and additional needs.  As a short break carer, you become a partner family to a child and their family, supporting them by caring for the child overnight on an agreed basis (e.g. one weekend per month).  This means it’s an ideal area of care for people who work full-time or have limited free time.

Does your work have a fostering friendly policy?

Foster Friendly is the Fostering Network's programme to encourage employers to support fostering, and in particular, foster carers.

Many workplaces have policies and programmes in place to support foster carers in their duties, such as flexible work schedules and allowances for additional annual leave.

Unsure if your workplace has a fostering friendly policy? The Fostering Network has a list published of all employers who are registered as fostering friendly on their website.

Though don't worry if your employer is not listed! This doesn’t mean they don’t have support in place for foster carers and people who are going through the application process.

Hear from our carers...