The balancing act
Maintaining a career outside of fostering is not for every carer or foster child – some children require a lot of attention and especially a child with complex needs, it may mean work is out of the question for the primary care giver.
However, if you can work, maintaining your work/life balance is imperative to being a successful carer with stickability! Being a foster carer requires commitments that don’t appear to align with maintaining a career – the training sessions, the school runs, activities for the children and all the advocacy requirements. Fostering in part-time work is without doubt the most manageable way to do both as your time is at a premium! At The CFT we believe work can help provide a carer with a life outside of being a care-giver and the family home allowing people to develop connections with individuals not in fostering which is key for positive mental well-being.
Foster friendly employment
We appreciate being a carer requires a lot of flexibility so that you can provide a stable and loving home for your child or young person, but that doesn’t mean you cannot continue to pursue fostering and part time work and be successful at both. Employers can go the extra mile and implement fostering friendly HR Policies that allow workers who foster that extra flexibility to amend their hours and recognise the needs of the children in their care.
The need to work isn’t just a requirement for positive mental well-being, financially it can be absolutely vital to maintain a steady income. The current financial situation for many people and families, the ability to work is the biggest barrier to becoming a foster carer. It is up to the agency and employers to ensure employees who foster are supported and not chastised for their decisions and priorities.
Positive role models
The benefits beyond the finance and wellbeing reasons are also very clear. For foster children to witness a parent work and manage the home is a figure they can aspire to, learning through the demonstration of a responsible adult who despite being busy, can show love, care and dedication to their family life.
Speak frankly with your social workers, the trust and your employers, we will do what we can to support you and ensure you are making the right decisions for yourself, your career and your family.
Read The Fostering Networks report here for more advice for you and your employers and how they can champion fostering in part-time work.