The Working Foster Parent
When I talk to other families about becoming foster parents the number one thing they say to me is “I could never do that. I work full-time.” Well, I am a loving foster parent and I work full-time as well, and it is very possible.
People say to me, “How do you do it?” To me, it’s simple. I love what I do. And I do the same as I do (or did) with my own children. I am a biological mother to one (17 years old), a stepmother to two (17 and 19), an adoptive mother to two others (7 and 10) and foster mom to twins (eight months old).
With each placement as a foster parent you have a couple of options. You have the option of FMLA which is available if you give birth, adopt or foster. There are friends or family, or you are eligible for CCIS – which is government assistance where your income is not a factor when you are caring for foster children. There are plenty of support groups, and when it is truly something you love and desire things always have a way of working out.
I do completely understand that maybe this sounds good but not reality. But I know first-hand. My first placement was a sibling group (4, 6 and 7 years old), brought to my house at 2:30 pm on a Wednesday, and I needed to find day care for the next day until I could get assistance. It is amazing the outpouring of support that comes when you receive a placement. Another foster parent called me and said, “I’ll help watch them until your assistance goes through,” and at that very moment I knew this is going to work out and I am meant to do this.
Visits, appointments all scheduled around my time and my convenience. If there is an appointment not feasible for you, don’t get discouraged. Reach out and contact your caseworker. They are there for you.
You are never alone in this amazing journey.
Rebecca Wood is a foster parent who works with KidsPeace Foster Care in Reading, PA.