The short and sweet answer is Yes, you can have a part-time or full-time job and be a foster parent at the same time.
If you can meet all the primary requirements to be a foster parent, then you’ll likely be approved, even if you have a job. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. You need an agency that understands that some parents may have full time work and an agency that guarantees the best support to parents.
Below are some things you should consider.
Not all Foster Agencies Have The Same Rules
Not all foster care agencies operate with the same policies and requirements. In fact, it’s very common for different agencies to have different internal guidelines regarding expectations about children activities, transportation, monitoring visits, or taking children to school or to the doctor. So you may need to look around to find an agency that is able to work with your situation.
But don’t just seek an agency with lax requirements and dive into fostering with unrealistic expectations. In addition to the core parenting needs all children need, foster parents also need to attend meetings, relevant training, and in many cases they need to provide transportation for the children to have visitations with their biological parent(s).
Find an agency that is willing to work around your schedule. Do they tell you what days you need to go to their office for orientation and training, or do they give you options, such as in-home services, online orientations, or other ways? Do they offer support with transportation or medical appointments for those occasions in which you may not be able to transport children? As you consider becoming a foster parent, you need to consider all these issues.
You Can Foster Part-Time
You may be surprised to learn that part-time fostering is quite common. It’s called being a host-guardian. Some call it respite care.
There are three ways for you to become a positive influence in the life of a child in need: adoption, fostering and becoming a host-guardian. Adoption is a more involved subject that we’ll address in a separate article. But being a foster parent and being a host-guardian are pretty much the same thing except that as a host guardian you can pick the number of days, or even hours, you want to be available to provide a safe environment for children in need.
Many times, the host-guardian programs offer a great means of potential foster parents to become familiar with how much time and effort is actually needed to do a good job as a foster parent. And knowing that is the key to determining whether working full-time in an outside job is something you can balance while still fulfilling all the needs of a foster child.
So if you’re not sure where your work-life and family life will balance out, try being a host-guardian before becoming a full-time foster parent. Not all agencies offer the host-guardian program, which is temporary or part-time foster parenting; so, consider an agency that does. This is also a good way to give time to current foster parents so that they can take some time-off.
Yes, you can foster a child and still maintain a part-time or even full-time job. But for many parents that’s not realistic. Many prefer to focus entirely on being a foster parent. But if you’re mentally committed to working full-time and becoming a full-time foster parent you should give us a call.
You need an agency that is committed to working with you based on your individual or family situation. Knotts Family Agency uses a variety of ways to make it easier for you, including one-on-one orientations with you at the time and place of your choosing. Knotts Family Agency will work around your schedule and works tirelessly to make sure you are 100% satisfied. Give us a call and our team is well qualified to listen to your story and create a situation that’s a win-win for you and the child(ren) you ultimately get to foster.