Earning While Fostering: What are Your Options?

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Fostering a Child
Young woman with little kids indoors. Child adoption

Fostering a child in need of care has its own rewards and it’s the kind of work that’s only suited for people who truly feel that way. Compassion, a nurturing nature, and a genuine desire to help children are mandatory requirements for any aspiring foster carer. That being said, we all need a source of income, especially when there are children to take care of.

The good news is that independent fostering agencies (IFA) are well aware of the growing financial pressure on families, and as you will see while reading through this post, fostering can actually help you find better financial stability in more ways than one. Let’s start by addressing the main question first.

Will the Fostering Agency Pay You?

Yes, both independent fostering agencies and local authorities in the UK pay allowances to their registered foster care providers. There is, however, a stark difference between the two. For example, if you live in Dorset, an independent agency will not just pay significantly more than their LA counterparts, but there are also bonus payments, paid respite holidays, and allowance appreciations to consider. Unfortunately, LA fostering centres are well behind in not just their allotted allowances, but also in the training department.

If your application is accepted, assessed, and approved for fostering in Dorset by an independent fostering agency, you will be thoroughly trained and prepared with all the skills you will need to become a competent and efficient foster carer. Additional training will also be provided later, if needed. Unfortunately, training opportunities with LA fostering centres may not be as good.

Can You Work and Foster Simultaneously?

Becoming a foster carer will not bar you from holding a job, so the answer is you can continue working or find a new job while fostering as long as the foster agency believes you can still meet the demands of fostering alongside employment. In fact, roughly 40% of foster carers in the UK are working professionals. Remember, it’s about your personal circumstances and setting your priorities in proper order.

Your Fostering Duties Must Always Take Priority

Foster children are often rescued from neglectful and/or abusive situations. Therefore, it is the primary duty of every foster home to ensure that these children do not end up feeling neglected in foster care as well. Consequently, all foster care providers are required to prioritise their fostering duties over any other professional commitments that they may have. Note that prioritising your fostering duties is not just advisable, but it is also a mandatory requirement which foster carers are both expected and obligated to maintain.

Therefore, jobs with flexible hours are ideal for working foster carers. Working from home or part-time jobs are also feasible options to consider while fostering for the same reasons. The bottom line is that if they can find enough time to take care of all their fostering responsibilities towards the child/children living under their care, foster carers should have no issues with holding a job.

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