A frequently asked question among prospective foster parents is: Can you foster a child if you work full-time?

The short answer is, yes. You can become a licensed foster parent and work full-time, and countless foster parents have successfully balanced the responsibilities.

The reality is that most parents need to work full-time to support their families, but finances aside, if you review our foster care requirements you’ll see that there is considerable flexibility in terms of what it takes to qualify.

So while many foster parents work full-time, others work part-time, are retired, or are stay-at-home parents. Likewise, some foster parents are married, while others are single or in a domestic partnership.

So if you are employed full-time and are considering becoming a licensed foster parent, don’t think for a minute that your job will prevent you from achieving this goal.

Safe loving Homes and Financial Stability Are the Top Priorities

Keep in mind that the top priority among interested parties is placing children in need in safe loving and stable homes. And a big part of the process of becoming a licensed foster parent involves demonstrating that your household is financially sound.

But all parties involved recognize that caring for children is expensive, and resources are available to help foster parents meet their responsibilities.

The good news is that foster parents are paid per-diem rates for each child they foster, and resources are often available to help with daycare placement and even for paying for daycare. 

How Much Are Foster Care Subsidies?

As for the rates for foster care subsidies, these vary from state to state, and also take into consideration whether a child has special needs. The following table shows the range of per diem rates currently paid by the states in which Omni Visions operates.

StateBasic Per Diem RateMaximum Per Diem Rate*
Tennessee$25.38$32.00
Indiana$20.87$69.81
Kentucky$19.70$45.00
North CarolinaCall Omni’s state office at 919-334-0249

*Higher per diem rates are generally paid for teenagers and medically fragile children, those with medical or mental health conditions, and those who have developmental delays.

In addition to per diem rates, assistance for foster parents includes:

  • Medical care. Most foster children are on Medicaid, which pays for preventive medicine and all necessary medical care. 
  • Personal support. Omni Visions has a team that provides our foster parents with guidance, assistance and support on a 24/7 basis.

Tips for Juggling Foster Parenting and a Full-Time Job

As one might expect, being a foster parent with a full-time job is not entirely unlike raising biological children while working full-time.

For one, foster parents may be able to file for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits to take unpaid, job-protected leave of up to 12 weeks in any 12-month period. This type of leave is available to employees who receive placement of a child for foster care.

You can also ask your support team to help you find a pediatrician who offers weekend or evening hours, and you can arrange home visits to take place in the evening. In addition, many foster parents are a part of support groups and find nearby foster parents to help them with daycare.

Assistance with transportation is also available in many situations. Finally, other foster parents who work full-time can be a source of invaluable advice as it pertains to juggling responsibilities. 

Ready to Begin the Application and Approval Process?

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent in Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky or Indiana, we encourage you to complete our information request form or to call the Omni Visions office nearest you.

For more than 25 years, Omni has specialized in providing training and support to caregivers so foster children can reach their fullest potential. You can help us provide a brighter future for our children. Give us a call toll-free at (800) 851-6108.