Fostering and working

Being a foster carer in England does not prevent you from having additional paid employment. In some parts of the UK, however, the main carer is required to be available full-time. Contact your local Action for Children Fostering service to find out more.

Contact your local team

Fostering is a full-time commitment and, ideally, it is also your full-time role. However, each child or young person and set of circumstances is different and Action for Children fostering will look at each case individually.

We will always put the needs of the child or young person first. Any additional work that you intend to do would have to fit around the needs of the child or young person in your care. Providing you have enough time to be available for when your foster child needs you to be there; working, as well as fostering, is something you could explore.

Find out more about their specific requirements.

Contact your local fostering service

Fostering couples

Same sex couple, two women playing with their 6 month old baby boy at home while standing in kitchen

Often, in a situation where there is a fostering couple, one of the foster carers will work full or part-time, as well as undertaking a joint fostering role; whilst the other carer will remain at home with fostering as their full-time role. This enables one foster carer to always be available for their foster child or young person when needed.

Single Foster Carers

Teenager with carer smiling

Action for Children Fostering recognises that foster families come in all different guises and often we have single foster carers, who may feel the need to supplement their fostering fees. This is absolutely fine, providing this has no detrimental impact on the foster child or young person.

Competitive fees and allowances

We provide our foster carers with sufficient funds to enable them to care for their young person without worrying about money. We look after our foster carers so that they, in turn, can look after the child or young person in their care.

Building a relationship with your foster child

Foster children will often arrive at your home having suffered abuse, trauma or neglect. They may be suffering from attachment disruption and have ongoing relational needs.

These vulnerable children and young people need their foster carer to dedicate time to building a rapport and trust with them.

Particularly when they first come to live with you, this relationship building will take a lot of your time. You will also need to be available to attend meetings and training courses.

Once your relationship and two-way trust with your foster child has developed and they are settled, you may find that you have more time available for work outside of fostering. You would need to discuss your change in circumstances with your dedicated social worker but providing the needs of the child or young person are being met, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Different types of fostering

There are different types of fostering, including short term, that you could do whilst working. When young people are living with you, we simply need you to be there for them when they need you.

Foster Families

Age could make a difference

The age of the child or young person would also be a factor in determining whether or not it would be appropriate for a foster carer to have additional work outside of fostering.

A child in primary school, for example, would need you to pick them up from school and be with them when you bring them home. They may need help with homework and would need you to spend time with them to talk about their day so that you can find out if there are any causes for concern.

School can be a difficult place for children in care and they may find it hard to make friends as they may feel different from others. A foster carer would need to reassure their foster child and help them to overcome any social anxieties that they may have.

On the other hand, a young person in secondary school who travels to and from school independently will give you a greater chunk of time during the day when they may not need you. You would still have to be available in case there are calls from the school and would still have to be there for them when they get home but, in this situation, working and fostering may be possible.

Working from home

Many employers offer greater flexibility now, with working from home much more common. Fostering and working from home, as long as there is flexibility to be able to attend fostering meetings and training and being available for your foster child when they get home from school, is definitely something you might be able to do and should discuss with your dedicated social worker.