Foster carers feel pressured to give up their jobs by fostering services, a Fostering Network report has found.
The report, funded by the Department for Education, called on services to consider whether people who work may be ruling themselves out of fostering after it found that 40% of carers interviewed were required or felt under pressure to give up their jobs before becoming carers.
Of carers who were required to give up work to foster, 52% felt this was the wrong decision, citing the lack of a steady income and desire to show a positive working role model to children in their care as reasons why.
Whilst the report found “many foster carers feel that it is not realistic to work and foster”, Lucy Peake, director of development at the Fostering Network said fostering services should not to impose “blanket bans” on employment outside of the home.
Peake said that while combining fostering with another job is not always in a child’s best interests, there is more that employers and fostering services can do.
Children’s minister Edward Timpson said: “There are many excellent and supportive employers as well as fostering services out there, and I want all to now consider how they can go further in supporting employees who foster.”
The report also found that support and training was often inaccessible to working foster carers and recommended that fostering services offer more flexible help.