One of the number one barriers we hear people have against becoming foster parents is their work schedule. Most believe if they work a part or full-time job they are not able to be a foster parent.
We are here to tell you, however, that just as you can work and parent biological kids, you can also work and parent foster children
This is great news as it opens up the possibility of foster parenting to a whole new pool of compassionate and caring individuals who may have thought it wasn’t possible to become foster parents!
With each foster placement, you do have a few options, such as FMLA. This allows you to take time off if you feel it is needed without impact on your job. However, taking a foster placement and continuing to work is completely achievable.
Will it be easy? Not always. Will it require so much extra effort and support? Yes! Will it be worth it? Absolutely!
Let’s take a look at a few things that should be considered for working foster parents.
Daycare- Working Foster parents will receive compensation for daycare expenses for their foster children. However, we know this is just half the battle. Finding adequate care with openings can be a challenge, especially on a short timeline. Many foster parents will call childcare options ahead of time to secure a spot or have an idea of availability.
Doctors Appointments- A new foster placement will likely require a few doctor appointments to catch up on missed care or address certain needs. These appointments can be scheduled around your availability. You will need to work with a pediatrician who accepts Medicaid. It can also be helpful to work with a pediatrician who has experience caring for the unique needs of foster children and teens.
Babysitters- You can utilize trusted babysitters with foster children, just as you would biological children. Some agencies require background checks for regular babysitters. It can be helpful to join your local foster parenting group for babysitting help or support in last-minute emergencies.
Transportation- between doctors’ appointments, family visits, and therapeutic services, the transportation time can really add up. Your agency can likely assist you with transportation needs, or navigate around your work schedule when possible.
Missing School- You may run into times when children have to miss school. This could be because of sick days or suspension or other various reasons. For these times we suggest you meet with your HR department to learn how you can use your vacation and sick days to be home with your foster child just as you would a biological child.
Working Couples or Individuals Can Be Foster Parents!
Just as working parents can be great parents, working foster parents can also see great success. It may take a little extra planning and support, but we have seen it work time and time again.
For more information about Therapeutic foster care in Kentucky, Indiana or Pennsylvania contact Benchmark Family Services.