Can I Hire a Babysitter For My Foster Child?
All parents, including foster parents, need a break occasionally. It’s common to leave children in the care of a babysitter while you have the odd night out. However, when it comes to foster children there are certain guidelines that must be followed when it comes to leaving them in the care of someone else. Here’s everything you need to know.
Having a night off
If you’re looking to have a night off, it may seem harmless to hire a babysitter. However, there are a number of things you need to take into account. Mainly how it might affect your foster child.
Even if they’ve been staying with you for a while, suddenly being left alone with a stranger can be a terrifying prospect to some children. Foster children come from a wide range of backgrounds, some of which are very unsettled, and this can leave them with numerous issues, including being fearful of strangers.
For some foster children it is never a good idea to leave them with a babysitter. This is especially true if you’re only fostering on a short-term basis. Your social worker will discuss this with you to determine whether a child would be ok to be left in the care of another responsible adult. No situation is the same, so each case will be looked at on an individual basis.
If you are fostering a child on a more long-term basis, there will be times you may need the odd day or night off. In this situation, there are other options open to you, such as respite care.
Choosing the right babysitter
We generally discourage the use of standard babysitters for obvious safety reasons. However, we do understand there may be times it cannot be avoided, such as in long-term care arrangements.
Ideally, the person you should consider as a potential sitter would be a close friend or family member who the child already knows and is comfortable with.
If you require a babysitter on a more frequent basis, such as one night a week, this would need to be made part of your placement plan. We would carry out a simple babysitter check, which includes a short assessment by a social worker and a DBS check, to ensure your foster child will be under the supervision of a trusted adult.
If you think you may need a babysitter, the first thing to do is talk to your social worker who will advise you on the best way forward.
Whatever the situation, our team are on hand to help and support you and your foster child every step of the way.
If you think you could provide a child in need with a loving, caring home then please get in touch today on 01204 895 645.