Can Wisconsin foster parents work? Can single foster parents work? If you want to become a foster parent in Wisconsin and you are working full-time, there is good news. It is possible IF you meet the required flexibility and availability requirements.
Being a foster parent with CCR doesn't require being a stay-at-home mom or a stay-at-home dad. We embrace our working foster parents. We know how hard they work to take care of their families. What we require is flexibility. CCR foster parents must be available to their foster children when needed and have the flexibility to adjust their schedules accordingly.
When fostering school-age children and teens, having a flexible schedule before, during, and after school hours is important. CCR foster parents typically have 2-4 scheduled appointments each week. These required appointments take place between 8 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday. In addition, many unplanned interruptions arise when fostering.
Most everyone has helped a family member or friend at one time or another with an unexpected situation with kids. Living in Wisconsin, snow days and cold days can create havoc for working parents. There is little notice given that your workday needs quick adjusting. Will you skip work? Ask someone to fill in for the day? In the event of a school suspension, who will stay home with your foster son or daughter for a week?
Foster parents need a dependable support system in place, people to chip in and help when necessary. Having a family member, close friend, or neighbor supporting you on your foster care journey is very important to your success and the healing success of a child.
Think of all the possible scenarios because one or more will arise, and you will need a plan in place. One of the greatest foster care support services CCR offers is weekly in-home visits with every foster family. The visits are typically 45-50 minutes per foster child. If you have a sibling set or sibling group in your home, who will be home for 2-3 hours once a week to meet with the Case Worker? Biological family visits, unexpected disruptions, schedule changes, and school-related appointments will require your time during regular business hours.
Most non-foster youth can safely stay home alone; others can stay with family or hang out at a friend's house. What if your child suffers from the challenges of significant trauma? What if your 8-year-old child cannot stay with a neighbor because past trauma prevents them from being safe? What if your child's behaviors are too unpredictable for grandma or your best friend to manage? What if? These are the first two words of many questions we will ask if you work full-time and want to become a CCR foster parent for treatment-level kids. Flexibility is non-negotiable.
Often, prospective foster parents don't think of the possible situations that may arise. It is our job to ensure you understand the requirements and the responsibilities that will be upon you as a foster parent. Expect that it will be much different than caring for your own children and from what you have witnessed with nieces, nephews, and friends.
There have been instances over the years where prospective foster parents were not honest about their day-to-day schedule, thinking they could handle it and make it work, only to have it be discovered halfway through the licensing process. That is a difficult discovery for all involved; in those instances, a license was not issued. Be honest with yourself and CCR about the flexibility and stability you can offer foster children.
Before school and after school can be difficult for working foster parents if they keep a tight, demanding work schedule. Daycare is often an option, and having a friend or family member fill in or give occasional support is okay. We want to avoid having too many adults in a child's life. Going to the neighbor's house on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday after school and having Grandma in the home 2-3 mornings a week to get the kids off to school may seem like a good idea, but it generally creates more chaos and confusion for the kids. Although adults provide supervision, it backfires because too many adults play the role of parents.
We welcome a conversation with you about your schedule. We often have ideas and suggestions that might fit perfectly with your situation and allow you to create a schedule that will work well. Many families find that one spouse can cut back their hours to 25 or 30 hours a week without financially affecting the family. Remember, foster parents receive a payment each month that is designed to cover the expenses of caring for a child. You are not financially responsible for foster children. Find more Wisconsin foster care questions and answers here.
Can kids attend daycare, summer camps, or after-school programs?
On a case-by-case basis, yes, they can. Is it ideal for a child's treatment and healing process? No, it is not. It all circles back to creating an environment of consistency and stability. Introducing too many adults, programs, and settings can work against foster kids and impede their healing and progress. Keep in mind the 2-4 required weekly appointments. It can be stressful unless working foster parents have a very flexible schedule.
If you are working full-time, give us a call. Let's talk through your schedule and flexibility. Click here for answers to the most frequently asked foster care questions. Let us help you decide. The support we provide begins on the first phone call.
Call now: 800-799-0450