Can I foster, if I work 9-5

Posted: Thursday 12th September 2019


Have you thought about getting into fostering, but you work 9-5?

Full time fostering is full on, it’s 24/7 and can be more exhausting than normal parenting. There’s meetings, appointments, training and unpredictability. To juggle a full time job and full time fostering would be really tough. However, foster carers are often looking for help at weekends and school holidays. Children are off school for about 13 weeks of the year after all. Foster carers don’t always have family members nearby who can help out.

Be an aunt or uncle to a child in foster care

By offering regular sleepovers at weekends and school holidays, you can be an aunt or uncle figure to a child in foster care. You can give them wonderful fun experiences and be another adult they can trust. Knowing that the children are with another approved foster carer, who’s attended the training and knows what to do in an emergency, can give the foster carers a lot of confidence and a chance to relax.

You can continue to work and foster

Some fostering agencies stipulate that a carer must foster full time and give up work, but by becoming a respite carer with the local authority you can continue to work and foster.

This is a great way to get your “foot in the door”, to understand more about fostering and get acquainted with how it all works. You will still be a fully approved foster carer if you choose to do more in the future. This will build your own confidence too.

A good way to try fostering

For your own children, it’s a great way to introduce them to the idea of fostering. They can get used to sharing their home with another child. The children who come for sleepovers and visits are usually over age 5. We still recommend that you offer respite visits to children who are younger than your own children and a wide age range. But this might be a good way to try fostering different ages, if it’s just for the weekend.

Fit with your availability

You can continue to work full time and book the visits in advance to fit with your availability. Perhaps you can finish early to collect them from school on a Friday, for their weekend visit. Or take some time off in the summer to take the children to the zoo or the beach. If you work in schools, your availability in the school holidays would be ideal.

You will need a spare bedroom, plenty of availability at weekends and be able to take time off work to attend our 3 day training course.

Find out more about becoming a respite foster carer.

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