Fostering children has both its perks and challenges, but most of those can be managed with some preparation, planning, and adequate training. The same goes for potential financial challenges that you may face down the line while fostering. If you are new to the job, just go through the following tips that will help you plan your finances better.
Don’t Neglect the Importance Finding Adequate Fostering Allowance
Note that not all fostering agencies pay equally, so don’t neglect the need to find a fostering agency that offers adequate allowances to their foster care providers. If you are in Scotland, you will find some of the highest fostering allowances in the country from fosterplus.co.uk. Remember that receiving a decent remuneration is going to be key in keeping your foster children and your own family in good care.
List Your Sources of Income
There is no law against holding a job while fostering, provided that you can still dedicate enough time to the children under your care. If you have a partner living with you, then their income may also need to be factored in as part of the total family income. Other than that, there is the fostering allowance of course.
Jot down all your sources of income and then plan an annual budget around that number, preferably with a leeway for at least 10% – 15% savings after taxes. Speaking of taxes, did you know that the allowance you receive for fostering children in Scotland is mostly tax-free (to an extent)?
Finding a Part-Time Job is Advisable
As mentioned earlier, there is no rule that prevents foster parents from holding other jobs at all, be it full time or part time. However, holding a full-time job and fostering simultaneously can at best be very hectic, but downright neglectful at worst. Part-time jobs with limited work hours are often the best possible fits for foster parents. They allow you to maintain that fine balance between the two jobs, which is so essential in this case. Even part time work is not a viable option for every foster parent of course, but it is certainly a good option to consider for those who do have the opportunity.
Don’t Forget About Applying for Additional Expenses Payment
In excess of whatever amount it is that you are receiving as an allowance for fostering children, you may also be eligible for additional expenses. Some agencies make it easy to apply for them, while others may not. Nevertheless, rest assured that you have the option to apply for additional expenses, provided that such expenses are for legitimate school trips, certain religious festivities, birthday celebrations, breaks/holidays, etc.
Contact your foster care agency to know more about which extra expenses they will cover and up to what amount. Keep that information in mind while planning the budget for each special day, as well as the annual budget. You are unlikely to start off as a special needs foster parent right away, but if you do take that route in the future, note that the allowances will be adequately higher to accommodate for those special needs.