Why Fostering as a Career
Firstly, it is a rewarding career – it requires someone special to take on a child or young person (or even a few at once), sometimes with physical or behavioural issues – and take care of all their needs.
Succeeding at that task is a very satisfying feeling, even when it feels like progress is slow. If you are a parent of older children you have the chance once again to pass on your wisdom and experience and transform the life of a child in need.
It is estimated that there are 60,000 children and young people in the care of Local Authorities at any one time in the UK. The total number of children and young people who are not being looked after by their original parents is approx 300,000, and this is increasing each year. About 65% are in in foster homes, the rest are living with foster families, other relatives or friends.
Therefore there is a national shortage of foster parents. So if you develop your foster parenting abilities and experience you will always be in demand. Possibly up to 10,000 more foster carers are needed to take on the role/career to ensure that children who need fostering have the opportunity to benefit from living in a safe, stable, and nurturing family environment.
Foster Carers don’t have to have any particular qualifications, but having experience of caring for or working with children or young people really does help, and there are NVQ’s which it is recommended you study for.
Making a positive difference in the life and well-being of a child or young person is both rewarding and challenging.
As a new foster carer you won’t be left alone to figure it all out – foster parents work in partnership with others who are involved in the child’s life; this includes – the maternal parents, other family members, Social Workers, health workers, teachers and fostering agency professionals.
Before embarking on a career in fostering it is important to take the time to research and then discuss the possibilities with your own family (spouse and siblings) so that you can make an informed choice and for the right reasons. Read more
You will be self-employed, but with only a few exceptions at high levels of income will you need to pay income tax on your earnings – as there is a special exemption for Foster career income. For taxation information see HMRC, call them and/or an Accountant. For welfare benefits advice talk to your local benefits office – as in most cases fostering income does not affect entitlement to benefits, if you need them. See fostering on DirectGov and also categories of foster care.
We are here to help – just give us a call and we’ll guide you through each step of the way. We look forward to hearing from you.