Fact! You can foster and still work

04/12/2014 12:00am

 

It can be viewed as an advantage, although it is not a necessity, if you have previous experience of caring for, or working with children. This will put you in good stead for tackling any issues that may arise with the child placed in your care.
The needs of your own children should always be considered when deciding on the type of fostering and age of child you would be suitable to care for.  Fostering is not just a decision for the carers as it will also impact anyone else who is living within the household.
Foster carers need to be flexible in their approach to foster children and be aware that the way a situation may have been handled with their own child may not be the best way for this child.  Also at times a child or young person may come from a troubled family, or may have experienced abuse or neglect. It is therefore essential that a foster carer is non-judgemental about the child or their background. A foster carer must possess a positive attitude to diversity and difference for situations they have been used to with their own children.

Some agencies will ask for at least one person to give up work to become a full time carer.  At NFA we would ask that couples arrange their working hours so that one carer can be available full time, and that single foster carers be at home full time or have flexible, part-time employment.

 If you can be flexible in order to accommodate the needs of the child as well as contact, attending school and social work meetings and reviews, then we are happy for you to continue working to a certain degree.  

It is however worth noting that most fostering agencies offer a generous allowance to help out with the financial situation and ensure both the fostered child and foster family can live comfortably.  A third of people are unaware that you receive financial support to foster and believe that you need to be in full-time employment.  The allowance is given to cover the varied needs of each foster child, and to allow the children and carers to have a good standard of living. 

However, fostering should not be seen as a chance to earn money, but as the opportunity to give a caring home to a child that needs it.

You should also consider that we do not pay an allowance when there is no child in placement, so this should be a factor when looking into how you would accommodate the needs of yourself and your family during these times.