Two of the most common questions regarding starting a career in fostering are ‘is fostering a job’ and ‘can you foster and work?’ Mostly, the answer to these queries is based on the individual circumstances of the carer, for example, if you are fostering as a couple, or fostering as a single parent. However, fostering is considered as a career, so it’s likely that if you were to pursue a career in fostering, working outside the home may not be necessary.
Yes – fostering is a job. As a foster carer, your first responsibility is to the child in care, and this is a 24/7 job. Fostering is often considered as a career, and a lot of foster carers share the same mentality that working alongside fostering may jeopardise the stability of the home they offer to children in care, by being distracted by another job.
However, part of a foster carer’s career involves having various placements, meaning there may be periods of time where you do not have a placement. It’s important to note that if you do not have a placement, this also means there is no fostering allowance payments. However, fostering as a couple may mean there is more flexibility around working as well as fostering.
As a foster couple, you can choose to have the flexibility of one parent working outside the home while the other parent can be on hand to care for the foster child. If you want to continue working outside the home while fostering, fostering as a couple allows you to do this more realistically. However, if you both wanted to become full time foster carers instead, this is also an option – as it means you are both on hand to deal with the child’s needs in the most effective way.
It is possible to work as a single parent – however, this depends completely on circumstances and nature of the work. In terms of fostering and working as a single parent, you will need to be able to be flexible – and the children’s needs and requirements will always need to come first.
If you are single, you are still able to foster, as long as you meet the fostering requirements. If you meet these conditions, regardless of whether you are a single parent or not, you will be able to begin your application process to become a foster carer. Learn more about fostering as a single parent from our helpful guide.
Looking for further information on if you can work and foster? Get in touch with our experts. We’re on hand to give you fostering support and advice regarding fostering as a career, and answer any other questions you may have.