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Foster to Adopt and career break from work

(10 Posts)
KallyBox Mon 15-May-17 15:56:24

I'm hoping someone has experience with this?

DH and I are currently on stage 2 of our application, and our preference is to foster to adopt. One of the reasons for this is to maximise the amount of time there will be a SAHP with any child placed with us. I am the high earner in our relationship and DH earns the equivalent of what our LA will pay to foster carers (including those doing F2A). My employer will give me 6 months of full pay adoption leave, then 3 months statutory, then 3 months unpaid.

Therefore what makes most sense for us is for DH to take a career break if we are offered a F2A placement, with me carrying on working full-time (but flexibly, with lots of working from home, which my employer is fine with). Then if we are lucky enough for it to become an adoption placement, DH will end his career break and I will begin my adoption leave.

DH is currently clearing the career break idea with his employers (as obviously due to the nature of the placement it could all be quite short notice), but I wonder if anyone else has any experience of doings this? Reading online hasn't really set my mind at ease as it seems that I should be taking my adoption leave as soon as a F2A placement starts, which I really don't want to do as if a child were then returned to it's birth family, I would not be entitled to a further amount of adoption leave if another placement began at short notice.

It would also work out better financially as we would get (assuming the fostering placement lasted 12 months, just so I have a figure to use) 18 months of the child having a SAHP at full pay (with DH's pay being effectively matched by the LA whilst he is on a career break). If I just take the adoption leave as soon as a child is placed, we then only have 6 months of full pay.

I realise reading this that it seems I am more concerned with finances than I should be, but realistically I have to think of what will work best as a family - and although the finances do appear to swing it, actually I believe that a child having a SAHP for the first potentially 18 months with us would be much more beneficial than just 6 months. If it's relevant, my DH will go part time once he returns to work, and I will work condensed full-time hours of 3 long days in the office and one shorter day at home.

comehomemax Mon 15-May-17 19:22:12

I think having 18 months with you both is a good plan and everything you've said makes financial sense. I know a family who split their leave 9 months and 3 months across both parents and it worked well for them. However, I'm not sure what the legalities are around adoption leave and F2A so worth sense checking.

Atlanticblue76 Mon 15-May-17 22:53:04

If you take adoption leave from the outset for f2a and the placement doesn't work in your favour, your adoption leave will end and you can get it again for another placement. It's unlikely to be straight away though as there will be a lot of emotion involved and you will might need to grieve before taking on another child. It's not like straight forward fostering where the carers know their boundaries. Yours will be more blurred, as you are taking on your child with the intention of them becoming yours. .
However, if the placement does work in your favour, you can only have 12 months of adoption leave in total, including the f2a bit. Therefore, if your DP can take a career break to cover the f2a part, this definitely sounds like the most sensible option!!
Good luck with it all. smile

tldr Mon 15-May-17 23:11:51

I see why you're thinking like you are, but to the baby, DH going back to work and you becoming primary carer a few months in might be difficult in terms of attachment ie the baby is just learning that dad is always there/always comes, when suddenly dad isn't always there. I'd def avoid it with an older child, not sure about babies though.

Italiangreyhound Mon 15-May-17 23:50:07

KallyBox have to say i agree with tldr I am not sure how little one would cope with one parent being the full time carer and then the other, Maybe they would. I've never heard of it though.

Can I ask if it is just finances that are affecting the decision or do you feel that your dh will be better at the baby stage? You won't etc?

I;d look into this more from how baby will experience this before making a final decision.

Good luck whatever you decide.

happypenguin7 Tue 16-May-17 06:49:08

With FfA it might not be realistic to give a guideline of time to yourselves for the Fostering side. Things may be a lot further down the legal court route so you may only be foster carers for a relatively short period of time.
I also want to mention that the fostering allowance/payment stops at the point you are formally 'matched' with the child at Matching Panel which is some time before the adoption happens.

JustHappy3 Tue 16-May-17 09:28:58

I'm another one who is worrying about how your child will feel swapping from one pc to another - possibly at the time they are getting very clingy.
I do think you are very sensible to think finances through. But you should also be looking at what you can cut back on and save in the meantime. You may find that your lo can't cope with nursery etc.
Also as a sahm can i just say it messes my day up if dh tries to work at home. My dc just want to be near him so they're unsettled or upset and he needs quiet so we can't do the usual jobs like hoovering etc. It's not a lovely option being able to wfh it can be a pita!
Also at about a year most people go back to work and the world of playgroups etc can be a tough nut to crack at that stage. And your dh should be aware that it's not as easy for dads to fit in to groups of bfing mums. (It shouldn't be like that i know but it often is)

KallyBox Tue 16-May-17 09:52:12

Thanks all, I really appreciate your responses and totally get what you're saying.

What we are hoping is that I will work in the office 3 days a week and then do a half day at home; therefore DP will be the main carer for the 3.5 days I am working, and then I will do the majority on the 3.5 days I am not working. So in theory it will be an even split of parenting (although I'm aware the baby is likely to build a stronger attachment with DH during this stage). DH will use his time "off" to retrain, and so when he goes back to work it will be in a different job that will be mostly evenings and one day at the weekend, which would be the time when the baby would hopefully be used to me providing the main care anyway.

Also I appreciate that the foster placement might only be for a short amount of time, I was using 12 months as an example - even if it was only for a few weeks, that's still a few extra weeks of having a SAHP. And with DH being the main carer initially, I don't think he will struggle too much as we have quite a few friends with babies and young children where the dads have regular days off to look after the children(including my dad who looks after my niece all week and lives on the same street, and who my DH really likes). He might feel a bit out of place at toddler groups but he could easily manage one or two playdates a week.

I realise this is all entirely hypothetical as the right child that needs us may well be coming straight into an adoption placement smile but you've all certainly given me some food for thought so that is really appreciated!

Italiangreyhound Tue 16-May-17 19:12:13

just what is whf?

Italiangreyhound Tue 16-May-17 19:13:00

Ah work from home! Doh!

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