Is fostering a full-time job?
Fostering is a job where you need to be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Like caring for birth children foster carers need to be available to meet a child’s needs throughout the day and night. This requires foster carers to be flexible enough to ensure they are available whenever a child needs them.

Fostering is considered a job and can provide a worthwhile career path. Fostering with Fitzgerald Fostering comes with a competitive fostering allowance and offers opportunities for both personal and professional development.

Choosing to foster as a career also offers the opportunity to work in a field that directly impacts the lives of children and young people.

Why choose a career in foster care?
Fostering is a fantastic thing to do, with foster carers reporting high levels of job satisfaction. Some of the benefits include:

It is a rewarding job 

Being a foster carer is a job that enables you to use your skills in looking after children to help them develop and progress throughout the time they live with you. Although being a foster carer can be very hard and demanding work, many foster carers feel a great sense of pride and achievement through helping children and young people through a very difficult time of their lives.

You are your own boss, with support
As a foster carer, you are self-employed. This means you will be your own boss, but this does not mean you operate alone. Fitzgerald Fostering will be alongside you to guide, support, and train you in delivering foster care to the children and young people placed with you. However, the fact you are the person or people working directly with the children you care for can greatly enhance your feeling of job satisfaction and sense of achievement.

Flexibility 

Fostering is not a 9-5 job; it’s your own business, which means having the flexibility to work around your needs. However, it is important to note you need to be available to the child 24 hours a day 7 days per week. There is the flexibility of also choosing the type of needs the children have that are placed with you depending on what works for you and your family/household.

Financial Benefits

There are many financial benefits for foster carers. Caring for children can be expensive; but when you are a foster carer for Fitzgerald Fostering you will receive a competitive fostering allowance that enables you to cover the costs of all a child’s basic needs. There is also a reward element to the allowance you will receive which means fostering a as a job with Fitzgerald Fostering can generate an income for you.

Family Life
Fostering is an excellent option for people looking for a work life balance that supports time with their own families or partners. As a foster carer you will work from home, and although being a carer is a 24/7 task children will be an integrtaed part of your household. This means you will also be able to be available to those in you household whilst also being a foster carer.

What do I need to be a Foster Carer
There are no educational requirements or specific qualifications that make someone suitable to foster. However, if you are thinking becoming a foster carer, it’s important that you consider your personality type and how it might affect your ability to provide good quality care to any children placed with you.
Some of the most important personality traits needed for this role include:

Patience
Children with a history of abuse or neglect have often been denied care and affection for lengthy periods. You will need to be patient with them as they work through their past experiences and learn new ways of relating with people. Coming into foster care is a very stressful experience for a child or young person and this can also lead to displays of challenging behaviour. Its very important that you are able to stay calm in stressful situations.

Compassion
Children who need fostering can be under immense emotional stress. This means you must display empathy and compassion when looking after them. You will need the ability to understand their experiences and how these may have impacted on their childhood development. It is important to recognise that any challenging behaviour is a consequence of past experiences and that you, with our support, can help them develop positive relationships.

Communication

As part of your responsibilities as a foster carer, you will need to communicate with professionals, parents and family members on behalf of the child. You will also be required to report to officials about the progress of the child in your care; therefore communication skills, both written and verbal, are important when fostering.

Co-operation

As a foster carer, you work as part of a team. You must be able to work well with the other people involved in making decisions for the child such as birth parents, social workers, therapists and teachers. This means being able to listen carefully and offer support and feedback.

Begin a career in fostering
If you feel you have what it takes to be a successful foster parent and have a strong desire to care for children, then it might be time for you to begin a career in this challenging but very rewarding profession. You can start by contacting us today or call us on 01753 550031 – we are happy to help and support you every step of the way!