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Rethinking your career? Try fostering

Friday 21 May 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. As we welcome a gradual return to normality, some things may remain altered forever.

One of these could be a shift in people’s career choices. Do you want to work from home and feel more fulfilled by helping others?

Career change is a national trend

According to a recent study from Aviva, more than half of us (53%) are contemplating making career changes in the next 12 months as a direct result of the pandemic.

The ‘How We Live’ report cites flexibility as one of the most important criteria for people seeking a new career.

However, Aviva noted 10% said they aim to find a role that will allow them to work from home in the next 12 months, and 6% of workers want a new role that helps other people.

How the UK re-evaluated what matters

These figures are no surprise. Covid-19 has made us re-evaluate our lives and what is important to us.

At the same time, repeated lockdowns led more of us to discover the benefits of working from home, like:

  • More time with family
  • Zero commuting
  • Less environmental impact
  • Better work/life balance

In light of this, it’s understandable increasing numbers of people are considering how to make these benefits permanent.

Fostering fits the bill

If this sounds like you, becoming a foster carer could be an ideal career move.

Fostering combines the flexibility of working from home, fitting in with existing family needs, and the reward of doing something extremely worthwhile.

As the UK’s leading independent fostering group, we’re seeing growing numbers of enquiries from people who are exploring fostering as a career.

This is fantastic news – almost 8,000 children are waiting for caring foster homes. We need to recruit more carers too fill this deficit as quickly as possible. We’ve even introduced a fast track fostering assessment process to help manage this.

Why people foster

Fostering appeals to people for other reasons too. Everyone has a different story to tell about why they chose to become a foster carer.

  • They were fostered themselves
  • Birth child experience of foster children
  • Another foster carer recommended them.
  • They have always loved children
  • Professional skills – like teaching, nursing or caring – felt relevant

One factor that unites all our foster carers, however, is a desire to make a positive difference to the lives of vulnerable children.

Fostering is life-affirming

We appreciate it may seem strange to apply the word “career” to fostering.

Many foster carers regard fostering as more of a vocation or a way of life than a job and most say they would not do anything else.

Undoubtedly, fostering offers so many experiences that are life-affirming and rewarding that foster carers tend to feel very passionately about it.

Our foster carers get generous pay and perks

Whether it’s a way of life or a career, as a fostering agency we are keen for our foster carers to be financially well-rewarded for the work they do.

This allows them to focus fully on the children and on giving them the best possible opportunities in life.

For this reason, we offer a generous allowance for each foster child and a package of perks and benefits that include:

  • Bridging retainer payments in between fostering placements
  • Exclusive discounts to attractions and cinemas
  • Exclusive high street discounts
  • Specialised foster carer insurance

Check out the full list of perks and benefits our foster carers enjoy.

Fostering is flexible

You don’t have to work (or give up work) in order to foster. It is flexible enough to fit around existing work commitments but also sufficiently well-paid to mean you can choose it as your sole source of income if you wish to.

There are many different types of foster care, including:

  • Long-term
  • Short-term
  • Respite
  • Emergency
  • Parent and child

This means that it can fit in around many different types of lifestyle and commitments.

We have foster carers who work full-time and part-time. Even people who do shift work can foster, either as respite foster carers or with a partner or another family member to support them.

We welcome diversity

Our foster carers are as diverse as the foster children themselves. We welcome applications from people of all ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, physical abilities and the LGBTQ+ community.

We have foster carers who are single, married or living with partners. We have homeowners and tenants. We have people who have children of their own, as well as people who don’t.

Of course, we are rigorous in our assessment process, but ultimately what really matters is your ability to care for and nurture a child.

See our carer stories for inspiration about how people made the transition from one profession to being a foster carer.

Joe’s story is a good one – he’s a former police officer. And Geoff and Stephen, who run a tea shop.

Is fostering your next career move?

Hopefully, if you are one of the many people considering making a different career choice in the next 12 months, you’re thinking about fostering with one of our local agencies.

Our Thinking About Fostering section is a good place to start. If you’re ready to have a chat now, get in touch – we’re happy to talk you through the process and answer any questions.

Find out if you could be a foster carer
Find out if you could be a foster carer
In a few simple questions, you’ll know if you’re suitable to apply to become a foster carer.