As a foster parent, you’ll be expected to take your foster children to appointments including visitation, therapy, and various doctor visits. These appointments often occur during the workday, which can be tricky if you work a traditional schedule.
Appointments Require Flexibility
In a typical week, you can expect to have at least one appointment per child, oftentimes more. Whether it’s a family visit, a counseling session, or a dentist appointment, foster kids tend to have busy schedules! This can make it difficult if you work traditional hours. Flexibility is essential. Before you begin fostering, talk to your employer about options for taking time off during the week. Could you work a longer day on Tuesdays and leave early on Wednesdays? Thinking through this ahead of time can make your schedule less chaotic once a child is placed with you.
Ask for Help with Transportation
Sometimes, you won’t need to participate in the appointment, but it can be a lot of work driving children to and from various locations. Could a family friend or neighbor help with transportation? Asking your support system for help can extremely helpful.
Look for Flexible Providers
Some providers such as dentists and therapists might have extended hours for working parents. It never hurts to ask! One of our foster children had weekly therapy appointments and we were able to find a therapist who offered 6pm appointments. It made it much easier, so we didn’t have to find time during the workday.
Combine Infrequent Appointments
If possible, try to combine appointments on the same day. If you’re already wrapping up the workday early on Thursdays, that might be a good day to schedule that annual check-up. If you have bio kids, be sure to find a provider that takes Medicaid, if that’s what your state offers for foster kiddos, so all your children can go to the same doctor. Look for medical offices that are close to each other, so you can squeeze a doctor’s appointment and dentist appointment on the same day.