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Can you foster and work full time?

Navigating the complexities of fostering while managing a full-time job can seem daunting at first glance. Many prospective foster carers wonder if it's possible to juggle the responsibilities of both roles effectively, which is why “can you foster and work full time?” is one of the most common questions we receive. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of fostering and working full-time, aiming to provide clarity and support for those looking to make a difference in a child's life without sacrificing their career.

Understanding the Demands of Fostering

Fostering is a commitment that goes beyond providing a safe and nurturing environment for a child; it encompasses attending meetings, training sessions, support groups, and facilitating contact between the child and their birth family. These responsibilities, which are vital for the child's well-being and development, often take place during traditional working hours, posing a challenge for those employed full-time.

Can you work full time and be a foster parent?

The answer to whether one can foster while working full-time is nuanced. At Family Fostering Partners, as a Fostering Agency we recognise the diversity of modern life and understand that many prospective carers need or choose to work. However, the well-being of foster children remains the paramount concern. Children or young people who are fostered, having experienced significant change and often trauma, require stability, routine, and a sense of security—needs that might not be fully met if they are placed in full-time daycare or similar arrangements while the foster parent works.

That said, fostering while working full-time is not entirely off the table. Strategies and arrangements can be made, particularly in the following scenarios:

  • Partnerships and Shared Responsibilities: If you have a partner or spouse who is either not working or works part-time, they can take on the primary carer role, allowing for more flexibility in managing fostering responsibilities.
  • Short-Break Fostering: For those committed to their full-time jobs, becoming a short-break foster carer might be an ideal compromise. This type of care allows you to support a child or their foster carers on weekends or for specific short periods, providing relief and assistance without the full-time commitment.
  • Part-Time Work and Flexibility: Many foster carers find part-time employment to be a good balance, especially when caring for school-aged children. Flexible working arrangements can also be beneficial, ensuring that you can attend to the child's needs, such as school runs, appointments, and family contact sessions.

Fostering and working full time

The feasibility of working full-time while fostering depends greatly on several factors, including the flexibility of your job, the support network you have, and the specific needs of the foster child. Open and honest communication with the fostering agency about your circumstances and work commitments is crucial. They can provide guidance tailored to your situation and help you explore options that best suit the child's needs and your capacity.

Financial Considerations and Support

Foster care is recognised as a professional occupation, with allowances and financial support reflecting the commitment and care foster parents provide. If you're considering fostering but are concerned about the financial implications, it's worth discussing this with us at an early stage. We’re at hand to answer any questions you may have a through our online chat feature. We can offer insight into the support available, helping you make an informed decision about balancing work and fostering responsibilities you can also find detailed information about fostering and tax on the governments website. Additionally, our unique “BeThereToCare” scheme is designed to offer financial support to those looking to transition from full time work into fostering, you can learn more about our financial assistance scheme by following this link.

Taking the Next Step

If you're contemplating fostering and want to discuss the implications it may have on your current job or role, we’re always happy to answer your questions and help guide you. By discussing your specific situation, you can gain a clearer understanding of the possibilities and support available. Whether through adjusting work hours, exploring respite fostering, or leveraging support networks, it may be possible to provide a loving, stable home for a child in need while continuing your professional career.


Balancing full-time work with fostering is a challenge that requires careful consideration and planning. While it may not be suitable for every situation, with the right support and arrangements, it is possible to make a meaningful impact on a child's life without giving up your career. By communicating openly with fostering agencies such as Family Fostering Partners and exploring the options available, prospective foster carers can find a path that works for both them and the children they aim to support.

If you’re ready to take the first step in becoming a foster carer, or if you’re just curious and want to ask more questions about fostering, you can get in touch by phone on 0330 0948816, by email, or using our online chat feature. Alternatively, you can discover more ways of getting in touch by visiting our specific contact page by following this link.

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