I talk with a lot of people who are interested in fostering and work full time. They feel like working full time disqualifies them as foster parents. Let me say this loud so the people in the back can hear:
YOU CAN WORK FULL TIME AND STILL BE A FOSTER PARENT.
Many foster parents work full time out of the home. It is very doable with some creative planning. I chatted with some full time working foster parents to get the scoop on how they manage.
Working and fostering: Getting creative
- File for FMLA when your youth first arrives, first 60 days of placements are the busiest
- Use doctor offices that have evening and weekend hours
- Have social services assistant (SSA) transport to visits
- Have home visits with workers in the evening
- DHS can transport your youth to appointments if you cannot do it yourself
- Find foster parents near you to trade child care
- Have someone who can help you out in a bind if the state can’t help transport (grandparent, church member, family friend, etc. Remember they will need to have a background check completed.)
- Talk with CASA about getting help around appointments and visits
- Getting organized-especially when it comes to your calendar!
- Only taking school aged kids and kids who can go to after school care
- Work four 10 hour days to have a day off for appointments
- Find a supportive day care (ask other foster parents. They will be able to point you in the right direction)
Will it be easy to foster and work full time? No and it will be totally worth it. Our children deserve stable and caring homes. You can provide that even if you work 40 hours a week.