Driving & Working: Can I Still Foster?

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11/10/2017 9:54am

One of the grey areas surrounding fostering requirements is whether you must be able to drive to become a foster carer, and whether you can foster if you work. Different agencies have different policies regarding working and driving, so don’t rule yourself out if you have a
job or do not drive.


One of the many things that agencies do look for with regards to carers who want to work and foster is the level of flexibility that comes with their working hours.
Regarding driving, not all agencies require foster carers to hold a driving licence as they take into consideration the surrounding network links and how accessible these are.


Check out your agency’s location below for their policies on working and driving…

 

LONDON:

Driving: No requirement to be a car driver, but it is essential to have easy access to public transport or access to a car. This is the same for both single and couple carers.

Working: Carer must be able to fit working hours around the needs of the child. Single carers can work part-time provided their hours are flexible. With couple foster carers, the main carer can work as long as the hours are flexible or not work if the couple's income is sufficiently covered by the secondary carer. 

 

EAST:

Driving: Due to the rural nature of a large proportion of the East, being able to fulfil the fostering role without access to a car is extremely difficult. A driver within the household that is available (not working full time) would be preferred.

Working: Preference for at least one person at home full time, or working 0 hours contract, allowing themselves to be fully available for the fostering role.

 

MIDLANDS:

Driving: Driving is not essential, but it is desirable. It also depends largely on where the carer lives and whether they are able to access public transport with strong network links.

Working: Carers are able to work but with flexible hours in order to be available for meetings, regular training and contact meetings. They also need to be available for the foster child during school holiday periods. Specific placements such as parent/child placements will be unable to work alongside fostering.

 

NORTH & NORTH WEST:

Driving: Driving is essential due to location and quality of the transport links.

Working: Regardless of being a single or couple fostering, carers would need to have flexible working agreements that are scheduled around the child. Having a strong support network at home is also taken into consideration. 

 

SOUTH WEST:

Driving: Due to the rural nature of a large proportion of the South West, being able to fulfil the fostering role without access to a car is extremely difficult. A driver within the household that is available (not working full time) would be preferred.

Working: Preference for at least one person at home full time, or working 0 hours contract, allowing themselves to be fully available for the fostering role.

 

SOUTH EAST:

Driving: No requirement to be a car driver, but it is essential to have easy access to public transport or access to a car. This is the same for both single and couple carers.

Working: Carer must be able to fit working hours around the needs of the child. Single carers can work part-time provided their hours are flexible. With couple foster carers, the main carer can work as long as the hours are flexible or not work if the couple's income is sufficiently covered by the secondary carer.

  

SCOTLAND:

Driving: No requirement to be a car driver, but it is essential to have easy access to public transport or access to a car. This is the same for both single and couple carers.

Working: Carer must be able to fit working hours around the needs of the child. Single carers can work part-time provided their hours are flexible. With couple foster carers, the main carer should have a part-time job and flexible working hours, allowing the secondary carer to work full-time. 

 

WALES:

Driving: At least someone within the fostering family needs to be able to drive – this does not have to be the approved carer.

Working: Flexible working hours are a must, as well as the ability to provide day care to a child who is suddenly taken out of school for illness, for example.