Yes, you can work full-time while fostering, but be aware that it won’t be as simple as dropping your foster child off at the sitter’s while you go to work. Daycare centers, babysitters, and preschools all need to be approved through your agencies — they should have a list of those careers who have passed background checks and are ready to care for your child while you work.
Just like parents who care for biological kids, there are many working pieces to figure out when balancing a career and parenting. You need to have a plan — sometimes a written one — to show your social worker for approval on how you will handle the appointments and meetings you need to attend with your foster child and on her behalf.
In addition, you will need a plan for how you are going to juggle your schedule the child becomes sick at school or daycare, or on holidays when school is out of session. On top of all of the meetings, classes, doctor visits, and social worker visits you may also need to find time in your schedule for reunification meetings where your foster child visits with his biological parents, and for court visits.
Beyond the schedule juggling, you should be aware that the less time you spend with your foster child, the longer it will take for the two of you to bond or attach to one another. Some foster parents choose to only volunteer for short-term care, such as a weekend or a few days until a longer-term home is found.
One thing is certain: whether you choose to stay home, foster full-time, work full-time, or do respite care, there is a need for your love and supervision in the foster care system. Talk to your local state agencies to find out what will best fit into your life!
Written by Jennifer Galan.