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Do you want to foster a child? If you have a full-time job and live in Colorado, USA, you have come to the right place. Courage Community Foster Care is a licensed public foster agency, and we can help you navigate the legal processes of fostering a child. In this blog post, we will share tips on how to be a foster parent while maintaining a full-time job. Keep reading to learn more.

Have you recently considered becoming foster parents? If you and your partner have full-time jobs but still want to help foster a child in Colorado, we have some helpful tips for you. Continue reading to find out more.

Tips for Fostering a Child with a Full-Time Job

Choosing a Foster Agency

If you plan to foster while working full-time, it’s essential to choose a foster agency that can support you through the process. Ask if they offer after-hours training, as some agencies only provide training during the day.

Building a Support System

A strong support system is crucial when fostering a child. Do you have friends or family members who can help regularly? If both parents work full-time and can’t take time off, are your parents available to assist with the kids? Consider if you can afford babysitters and cleaning services to help manage your home.

Allocate some of the stipend to these services to balance work and home life. Some agencies perform background checks on babysitters and provide training for those working directly with the child. Make sure you understand the requirements and have a reliable support system in place.

Planning for Sick Days

Young children can get sick and may need to stay home. Is your job flexible enough to allow you to work from home during those days? Will you need to request leave or use sick time? Ensure that your work or your partner’s job allows you to adjust your schedule to care for your foster child when needed.

Bonding Time

During the first few days and weeks, plan to spend time bonding with your foster child. Attachment is crucial for a child-parent relationship, especially for younger children who have experienced trauma. Take 3-14 days off work when you get a new placement to start the bonding process. This is the perfect time to build your relationship with your foster child. Check with your HR department to see if they offer paid parental leave for fostering.

Make sure you can spend time getting to know your foster child. It’s not enough to establish a routine of school, daycare, dinner, bath, and sleep. Spend family time together during evenings and weekends as much as possible in the beginning. Play board games and video games, read books, watch movies, visit an amusement park, or bake pastries together. Show your foster child that you are there to help, protect, care for, and love them, no matter what happens.

Daycare, School, and After-School Care

If you and your partner are working full-time, it is important to plan for childcare and after-school care before fostering a child. Check the operating hours of the daycare or school. This is especially important for younger children. Inquire about after-school care to ensure your foster child will be looked after until you finish work.

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Plan

At least one parent must be available to care for the foster child. Plan the drop-off and pick-up times, particularly if you have multiple children. Coordinating the schedules of kids in different age brackets can be challenging. Plan to use school transportation services and hire a babysitter when necessary.

A Supportive Workplace

Before becoming a foster parent, check if your workplace is supportive. Do you have coworkers with children who can empathize when you need to care for a sick child? Can you work from home to manage your tasks while staying with your child? If your job isn’t flexible, consider finding one that supports your journey as a foster parent.

Self-Care Plan

Fostering Hope: A symbol of hope for foster children, promoted by Courage Community Foster Care in Cascade, Colorado.

Being a foster parent can be challenging, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Set aside at least 20 minutes a day for self-care. Ensure you are physically, psychologically, and emotionally healthy to properly care for your foster child.

Prepare to Handle Guilt

As a foster parent, you might experience feelings of guilt. You may feel guilty about not spending enough time with your child or not being a good enough employee because you need to take time off. You might feel guilty hiring a babysitter or not advancing professionally. Remember to stay positive. You are doing a great job, even when it feels difficult. Give yourself a pat on the back for your efforts.

Plan on How to Handle Relationships

Adoption Support Services: Highlighting Courage Community Foster Care's comprehensive support services for families pursuing adoption.

If you have a partner, it’s essential to communicate and support each other as you face the challenges of becoming foster parents. The initial days can be particularly difficult and overwhelming, especially if both of you work full-time jobs.

Commit to helping each other through this journey. Celebrate each day’s small victories and regularly check in with one another. Finding reliable babysitters for occasional date nights can also help maintain your relationship. While working full-time and being a foster parent is stressful, proper planning and support from others can lead to success.

Are you planning to foster a child? If you are in Colorado, rely on Courage Community Foster Care. We are a licensed public foster and adoption agency, ready to assist with the legal processes needed for fostering and adopting a child. For questions about fostering and adopting, call us at 720-397-3387 or email us at Choose Courage Community Foster Care for your adoption and fostering needs. Contact us today! We look forward to hearing from you.