Fostering as a career – 6 facts aspiring foster carers need to know
Fostering is so much more than just a job. Foster carers do not choose this career as just a means to pay the bills, they do it because they have a passion to provide love and support to children in need. One of our foster carers has described fostering as a “feeling you get deep within your heart” and she is right. Foster carers are inspiring and selfless and they put their own heart on the line to help heal the hearts of the children who come into their care. It takes a certain type of person to be a foster carer and fostering will not be a viable career choice for everyone. However, if you are interested in becoming a foster carer and want to know more about what a career in fostering is like, this post is full of useful information.
6 facts about fostering as a career.
1. Foster carers are self-employed – People who foster with Focus Foster Care work on a self-employed basis. This means they are registered as self-employed and are responsible for completing a self-assessment/tax return each year.
2. There is no office – Fostering is not a traditional 8 hours a day sat at a desk in an office career. Foster carers take children in to their home, meet all of their essential and emotional needs and care for the child or young person as if they were their own. The nature of the fostering lifestyle means the majority of the ‘work’ takes place at home. Foster carers are required to take children to appointments, meetings and visits to their birth family but they are not required to work from an office or specific work environment each day.
3. Foster carers are only paid when they have a child placed with them – Foster Carers are paid to do their job but only when they have a child living with them. As self-employed individuals, foster carers do not receive any payment when they are between placements or they have decided to spend a period of time not fostering for various reasons. Our team at Focus Foster Care are available to answer any questions about how foster carers are paid.
4. Fostering is a 247 job – Due to how foster care works, foster carers are never ‘off duty’ when they have a child or young person placed in their home. Foster Carers are responsible for the child at all times, from when the child wakes in the morning, to getting them to school, cooking their meals and being there for them in the middle of the night if necessary. Foster carers may not be the biological parent but a large part of their role is completing parenting tasks and everyone knows parenting never stops.
5. There is lots of support for foster carers – Foster Carers may be self-employed but there is ample support available for people on their fostering journey. Our independent fostering agency offers 24/7 telephone support to all of our foster carers and are always happy to help with any issues they may be experiencing. There are also organisations like The Fostering Network where foster carers can get support and useful resources. Focus Foster Care also offer regular meet ups with all of our foster carers and their looked after children and their own children too (these days out are currently cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic). As well as support from our agency and outside charities and organisations, foster carers can easily find other people who foster online using social media and forums.
6. Fostering is a career like no other – No two days are the same when you are a foster carer. Looking after children and young people is challenging but so rewarding too. Foster Carers often talk of how much they have personally learnt from the children in their care and descried the experience as being inspiring and life changing. Foster carers have a much better work/life balance and many people who pursue a career in fostering consider it one of their best decisions.
If you would like more information about becoming a foster carer or would like more details about our independent fostering agency, you can contact the Focus Foster Care team by calling 0800 524 47 97.
To find out more about fostering and how to become a foster carer with our independent fostering agency, please read the following pages on our website:
Types of foster care.
Who can foster?
How to become a foster carer with Focus Foster Care.
Fostering – frequently asked questions.
The benefits of fostering with Focus Foster Care.