When you take in a foster child, you need to provide a stable environment full of love and care, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take on additional work like any other parent. Many foster parents commute to work, but there’s nothing to stop you from working from home. However, you will need to have open discussions with your employee, foster child, and agency. Throughout this article, we will help you prepare for working from home as a foster parent.
Talk to Your Employer
If you’re already a foster parent and enter new employment, you can discuss your home situation at the interview, which will help them make necessary adjustments for you. Alternatively, if you wish to become a foster parent, speak with your employer and let them know how it might impact your working life. You can learn more about how to become a foster parent by following the link. Supportive employers may be able to create a flexible schedule, in which you can work from home around fostering.
Access Agency Support Services
Even though you work from home and can be on hand to provide care to your foster children, there will be times when you need some additional support. As a foster parent, you will have access to a support system that includes a social worker and fostering manager. If you are having difficulties juggling everything, reach out for some emotional and practical advice, even on weekends and bank holidays.
Some workplaces are more accommodating to family life than others. Therefore, you need to spend time weighing up the company culture to make sure it fits with fostering life. If you can work out a way to balance fostering and working from home, that’s great. However, if there’s not much wriggle room, perhaps it’s time to explore alternative employment that’s much more aligned with your goals and lifestyle.
Tap into your Support Network
There may be the odd occasion where you need to be somewhere, such as a meeting or appointment, and cannot be around for the child in your care. In these scenarios, it’s important that you have a close and trusted support network who the child in your care knows who can look after them for a few hours. This could be a partner, family member or close friend. Make sure you speak to your fostering agency or local authority before making arrangements though.
Foster children need stability in their lives, which usually means sticking to a routine. Therefore, you should make work part of your routine. If something comes up that will disrupt the routine, be sure to communicate with your foster child and make sure they understand why the changes are happening and what will happen instead.
Fostering alongside working from home is a viable option, you just need to ensure stability and routine for your foster child. To achieve this, you should follow the guidelines above and remember to communicate clearly with all parties.
Yes I will let Rebecca know
@Amanda Baldwin I’ve replaced this section too as the content was very much around playdates which is fine for your own children but not fine for foster children. Foster parents are paid to care for the children, employment needs to work around that, not the other way around.