Managing Work and Family Life: The Working Foster Carer’s Guide
May 2nd, 2023 by Catherine Marqueses
The decision to become a foster carer is one that many people make for various reasons. Some people decide to foster because they have a passion for helping children, while others do it because they have a desire to start a family but are unable to do so naturally. Whatever your reasons may be, becoming a foster carer is a life-changing experience that comes with some unique challenges, especially when it comes to balancing work and family life.
Fortunately, there are many ways that you can make fostering work alongside your career. Keep reading as we explore some tips and strategies for managing your work and family life as a foster carer.
Be Flexible with Your Schedule
Can you foster and work? The answer is yes, but you will need to prioritise your foster child at all times. As a working foster carer, you will likely need to be flexible with your schedule to accommodate the needs of your foster child. This could mean working from home more often, adjusting your working hours, or reducing your working hours. Don’t forget that you will get a foster carer allowance to help you provide for your foster child, so it may be possible to work part-time rather than full-time without losing out financially.
Communicate with Your Employer
It’s crucial to communicate with your employer about your responsibilities as a foster carer. Make them aware of any scheduled appointments, training sessions, or other events related to fostering that you may need to attend. This will help them understand your situation and make any necessary adjustments to your workload or schedule.
Create a Support System
As a working foster carer, one of the most important things that you can do is create a strong support system. This might include friends, family members, neighbours, and trusted colleagues who are willing to offer their support when you need it. Let them know what you need help with, such as picking up the children from school or babysitting when necessary.
Staying organised is key to managing your work and family life successfully as a foster carer. Make a schedule of all the appointments, meetings, and events you need to attend and try to stick to it as much as possible. Use tools like a planner app or a calendar to help you stay on top of things.
Take Time for Yourself
It can be easy to get caught up in all the demands of being a foster carer and working at the same time, leaving you forgetting to take care of yourself. It’s important to take some time for yourself to relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries. As a foster carer, you will be entitled to respite, where another foster carer will take care of your foster child for a short period of time to give you the chance to rejuvenate.
Becoming a foster carer is rewarding and fulfilling but juggling it with working can be a lot of responsibility. As a working foster carer, it’s crucial to find ways to balance your work and family life.