Can I Foster and Work?


One of the most common questions we receive from prospective foster carers is, "can I work and foster?". The answer varies from placement to placement. Some types of foster care can accommodate carers with full-time careers, whilst other long-term foster placements require more of your time.

Throughout this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about fostering and working full-time. Whether you’re a single foster carer or a fostering family, our team at Capstone Foster Care is here to help you begin your fostering journey.

Can you foster and work full-time?

If your fostering arrangement is for a set period of time, it is possible to foster whilst working full-time and still fulfil your foster care responsibilities. For instance, if you provide short term fostering placements (i.e. respite foster care), you will know in advance when your fostering services are required, allowing you to adjust your schedule accordingly.

However, in most cases, there is no prearranged timeline to determine the duration of a foster placement. Therefore, it can be more challenging to maintain a job outside of the household, as fostering is considered a full-time career in itself. With that said, each foster placement is unique, so don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your individual circumstances.

Can couples foster and work?

If you are a foster couple, you will have greater flexibility over your careers than you would as a single foster parent. Whilst a single foster carer must always be available to tend to their foster child’s needs, as a couple, you can work together to distribute your time between fostering and working. For example, one parent may choose to stay at home whilst the other continues to work full-time.

However, whilst fostering as a couple can make maintaining a second career more realistic, it’s also worth noting that fostering itself is a full-time job. Therefore, it may be worth evaluating both of your commitments to fostering and assessing how best to approach work.

Can single people foster and work?

For a single man or woman, fostering and working full time may become more of a challenge. You see, not only are single foster parents responsible for providing a safe and loving home, but they must also be available for meetings with foster agency social workers, teachers, and other personnel involved in protecting and maintaining the child’s wellbeing.

With that said, it is possible for single foster parents to work during school hours, depending on the age of their foster children. However, flexibility is essential. So it’s important that you’re prepared to commit to fostering as a full time career.

Do foster carers pay tax and national insurance?

Unlike most salaried roles, foster carers are eligible for a generous tax scheme called Qualifying Care Relief. As a result, foster carers pay little to no tax for their fostering placements.
To find out more regarding fostering allowance and tax rules, read our guide ‘How much do Foster Parents get Paid?

Can I foster if I had previously had financial problems?

If you have had financial problems in the past, it shouldn’t affect your eligibility to foster. However, you will need to prove that you are now financially secure enough to provide for a fostering family.

Is fostering a full time job?

Yes, fostering is a full time career. When you become a foster carer, your first responsibility is to the child in care, which is a 24/7 job. However, you may not always have a foster placement. So, it’s important to understand that whilst fostering is first and foremost a vocation, from a financial perspective, payments are reliant on placements, and placements are subject to demand and suitability.

So, whilst in some cases, people can comfortably foster and work, many choose not to, as they don’t want to be distracted by another job. After all, a foster carer’s priority should always be to provide stability and security for children in their care - not how much they can earn as a carer.

Fostering allowance

Our fostering allowance ensures that both you and your foster child are able to live comfortably. The allowance accounts for:

• Each child’s unique set of needs
• A good standard of living for both foster family and child
• A tax-free allowance

The fostering allowance does not impact other benefits such as housing benefit or working tax credits either.

Fostering training

Part of your assessment will evaluate your ability to provide training and support for a foster child. Families may see a difference between the needs of their own children and the needs of their foster child. So, it’s essential that our carers partake in training and development courses to provide the best support for their foster child.

At Capstone, we offer additional training beyond our essential ‘Skills to Foster’ course, to ensure our carers always feel equipped with the necessary skills to support their foster children.

Looking for more information on fostering and working full time? Contact Capstone Foster Care today or call us on 0800 012 4004 – we’re here to help answer all of your fostering and working queries.

Thinking of fostering?

If you’ve got any questions or would like to find out more about fostering with Capstone, fill out the form below.
An experienced fostering advisor from your local area will then be in touch.

The information you provide will be used to respond to the enquiry you have submitted, for further information please refer to our privacy policy.

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Find out more about fostering with Capstone.

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Ways to

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 

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Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer with Capstone Foster Care.