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Fact! You can foster and still work

24.03.16
Fact! You can foster and still work
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.

A third of people are unaware that foster carers receive financial support and believe that you need to be in full-time employment.

In fact, foster carers receive a weekly allowance that covers the costs of the foster child’s needs as well as compensating the foster carer for their professional skills and care.

Let’s look at this in more detail.

Foster carers in work

There are some restrictions around working outside of the home if you’re a foster carer.

  • In a couple, one of you can work full-time and one part-time/flexible
  • As a single foster carer, you can have part-time employment
  • You don’t have to work, you can just foster as a full-time role

At National Fostering Group, we ask that couples arrange their working hours so that one carer can be available full time, and single foster carers be at home full time or have flexible, part-time employment.

Other private fostering agencies will ask for at least one person in a couple to give up work to become a full time carer.  But 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’re happy for you to continue working to a certain degree.

The fostering allowance

As the largest of the UK’s fostering agencies, we offer a generous fostering allowance to make your financial situation more secure and ensure both the fostered child and foster family can live comfortably.

Fostering allowance:

  • Covers the varied needs of each foster child
  • Allows foster children, carers and their families to have a good standard of living
  • Is usually tax-free – no complicated tax returns to do or tax to pay
  • Doesn’t impact on state benefits like housing benefit, pensions or Working Tax Credit

We do not pay fostering allowance when there is no child in placement, but we do provide Bridging Retainer Payments under certain circumstances to give you more financial stability.

Could you be a foster carer?

Discover more about the fostering allowance or, if you’re ready, ask us about fostering.

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Start your fostering journey with National Fostering Group

  • We’re 14 close-knit independent fostering agencies
  • Over 3,500 carers already part of our family
  • Benefit from our local support groups and social workers
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