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Money: fostering pay & work PT around fostering

(10 Posts)
lechatnoir Tue 16-Aug-11 17:30:35

We've been looking into fostering but it looks like we might have to put this on the back burner for a while longer sad. Unfortunately (but as we expected) the fostering team were very anti sharing DH & I being joint carers (we both work PT so always one of us with FC) so that would mean me stopping work altogether which we just can't afford without some other regular and/or reasonable income. We could cope with a couple of months but not long term and I definitely don't want to start only to stop a year down the line because we're skint!

I realise this is quite a personal question but is anyone able to offer any sort of hope idea what I might realistically earn as a foster carer? And how realistic is it to find & undertake PT work around fostering -mainly thinking between placements but also the odd evening/weekend shift (supermarket or similar) once you have a placement? I'm in the SE if that makes any difference.
Here's hoping ...
LCN

ChristinedePizan Tue 16-Aug-11 17:38:24

If you do a search for private foster agencies in your area, they will give you an idea of how much you can earn. I don't know anyone who fosters and works part-time I'm afraid - you really need to consider it a fulltime job. Can one of you get a FT job?

morethanyoubargainfor Tue 16-Aug-11 17:43:52

This really bugs me. I am a fc and i also work part time (much to the annoyance of sw) my dh works ft and he is often away for days at a time. Yes it is hard but it is do-able.

i constantly get told asked about giving up my job, but i refuse. I love fostering but i also love my job (manager for a project for people with mental health issues). I have told them that i will not be giving up my job.

I have met a handful of careres where one is stay at home, but tbh a majority of FC i have met have worked. I think it is unrealistic of people to expect one carer to be home all of the time especially if you have school aged children.

morethanyoubargainfor Tue 16-Aug-11 17:44:36

We are local authority FC not private agencies by the way.

SquidgyBrain Tue 16-Aug-11 18:54:24

We are extremely lucky, that our LA has obviously thought outside the box, and we get a very good fee which they have decided to pay so that they can recruit people exactly like you lechatnoir, as they were finding people could not afford not to work and foster. And they do pay fee's even when we do not have a placement (although this is changing that it will stop being paid after 16 weeks of not having a placement)

It does seem to differ from LA to LA and from what others have said I think I am in minority, as not only do we get an excellent fee, and a good allowance we also get to claim for mileage, I only have to drive 4 miles to take my current LO to contact and have been nagged by my link worker to get a claim in

I am in Scotland so I don't suppose it is any use but if you want figures PM me

ZipadiSoozi Tue 16-Aug-11 19:08:57

I can't understand what the problem is, you are both going into this together as a couple, so why does it matter which one of you look after fc, the fc would soon get used to your routine.

scarlet5tyger Tue 16-Aug-11 19:17:47

I get paid £200 per week and wouldn't be able to afford to carry on without Income Support. It's ridiculous - both sets of money come from the government at the end of the day but I'd be much happier getting £260 (what I get for fostering, plus my income support) to foster than having to claim benefit.

Make sure you shop around before signing with anyone - I've since found out my neighbouring authorities pay much more than mine. On the other hand, they have carers with no placements whereas we're all full to (over) capacity.

bonnieslilsister Tue 16-Aug-11 23:11:48

I can't see the problem either with both of you working part time...... so long as one of you was always there when necessary. I would not be put off by the sw's and if you can keep trying or try a different LA (or agency but that is a different story and they probably would want you to stop work).

Good luck xx

lechatnoir Wed 17-Aug-11 08:20:51

Thank you all so much. will reply properly later but reading on my phone on the way to work and feeling a whole heap happier grin

MissVerinder Wed 17-Aug-11 11:22:23

Oooh, it's a hard one, this. The only reason we can really afford to do it, is because I managed to get a voluntary redundancy deal from work, which will give us a cushion if we're without placements for a few months.

However, DP does work full time as well, and the money we're saving on nursery fees and transport for me also counts. Maybe you could do a balance sheet on how much it costs to go to work? I also know that some carers whose partners work can also get tax credits (if they have their own children, as you can't claim for FC) but you need to speak to someone at the IR as it takes a bit of jiggery pokery.
You might also be entitled to some council tax benefit (and housing benefit if you rent) so maybe it's worth ringing someone there and asking them the hypothetical question.

I used to work at the benefits agency, and if you explain what you want to do, they should be more than helpful.

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