Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on fostering.
How viable-single person, full time job?(15 Posts)
In a nut-shell, I'm wondering how viable fostering is for a single person with a full-time job. Is it realistic even to explore this possibility further? It is something which I would very much like to do, but I'm concerned that I may not be being realistic, given my circumstances. The nature of my work is such that going part-time isn't really a viable option.
You wouldn't be able to foster with a full time job.
They expect you to be available for meetings/therapy/school exclusions/child illness etc.
You might want to think about sheltered housing or similar for young adults coming out of care or weekend respite care.
Thank you for such a quick response. That seems to be fairly emphatic, I was expecting it to be challenging, but hadn't quite expected a blanket no. I do know of single people work full time and close to full time who have been approved. In your view, would this be the case regardless of the support network which I might have available?
I can't speak for other local authorities but that is what I was told (emphatically!) by both my LA and two agencies.
To answer your other point, it was because they expected very regular responsibilities during the working week and found from experience people in full time work couldn't accommodate this in reality. It wasn't a support network issue, as obviously that will vary between people.
Thank you, I appreciate the response. It isn't a total shock, hence my question in the first place. I hope that you found something which worked for you and your circumstances. I don't discount at all the suggestions about sheltered housing or weekend respite care. At present I am looking into what I might be able to usefully give and how best to go about it, so I was grateful for those ideas.
A friend of mine was turned down for fostering because the child would have to go to before / after school care. So unless your full time job is school hours only it's unlikely to be feasible.
My LA doesn't allow foster carers to work...maybe different LAs/agencies apply different rules, so if you know others who have been approved, it might be worth you ringing the agencies they're with?
I don't see how you could work though...part-time would be difficult enough, full-time just not possible. To give you an idea, we have an FC with us at the moment. Since arriving just over three weeks ago, my social worker has visited me three times, FC's social worker has visited twice, the independent reviewing officer has visited us once, FC has contact with family members three times a week so needs dropping off and picking up at the contact centre each time, FC's had a medical assessment (which I had to take them to), during which I was told to take them to get their eyes tested and a dental check up within the next few weeks, and I've got to attend the LAC review next week...and on it goes... All of this is taking place during normal office hours. Plus countless phone calls during the week and then time spent filling in diaries/contact books/etc. Plus, you'll be expected to attend training too.
I'm single with a young child of my own. My support network look after my DC when I need help, but I couldn't ask them to look after a FC early on in the placement...and maybe not ever depending on the needs/behaviours of the child.
Fostering really is a job in itself. Respite could be good for someone in your position though. No expectation to give up work, just a commitment to a certain number of weekends and school holiday weeks each year. Good luck if you decide to pursue it.
Thanks Cheminotte and Arkay, I really appreciate you having taken the time to post this. It's useful stuff and has given me a lot to think about. As you say, just because fostering isn't right for my current circumstances, doesn't mean that there aren't other ways in which I could help children. And my circumstances might of course change at some point.
I'm a supported lodgings provider, rather than a foster carer, and I'm single and work full time.
It depends I guess on what age range you're looking at - I look after teens coming out of full time care or other young people who need a stepping stone between where they are and being independent. I never wanted to look after smaller children - my dds are now mid 20s and I couldn't face going back to smalls. I love teens, they're challenging but interesting. If that's something you'd like, then it's totally doable while still working.
Good luck finding something big that works for you. You sound lovely and I'm sure your local LA could advise about other ways of helping (which would be good experience if you circumstances changed in the future).
I would say that 2 or 3 days (often more) each week are taken up wth meetings, reviews, therapy sessions and contact. So there would be no way you could foster and continue with a full time job. We also have to be available at very short notice, and depending on the child go through stages where almost every day is filled with something. We have also found when sceduling meetings , the foster care's diary is the very last to be considered and it is very much frowned upon to have to cancel or rearrange. Very often with small children contact with their birth families can be every day. It's so busy that it can be really difficult to fit in a holiday for the children during the summer, and this year are taking two short breaks because of it.
But I wish you good luck and hope you can find a way to make it work.
Hi, I am a Registered Manager with an IFA.
Like others have said here, the commitment required of Foster Carers often means many meetings during the day or just being available to children who may be on the brink of exclusions or other issues. From an IFA perspective, we would say no. However, is there a middle ground - what about part time work or registering with an employment agency and doing interim/bank work when a child is not placed? There are always options to think about.
Also, many people do not know about the tax breaks for fostering, so the income is higher than many people think - what about quitting your job and taking on a sibling group?
I've given up a full time job for fostering. I was made redundant and I decided that at 54 if I was going to do it, now was the time. My first foster child moved in today.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.