A fifth of Brits would like a career change that benefits society, yet 72% have not considered fostering as a career

With the New Year fast approaching, a survey by Swiis Foster Care finds that a noteworthy 44% of Brits would consider changing careers. Two key driving factors for considering a change is to earn more money (reported by 34% of respondents) and wanting to make a difference to society (reported by almost a fifth -18%).

Yet surprisingly, 72% have not considered or are unsure whether fostering is a beneficial career choice. Swiis Foster Care are committed to showcasing fostering as a professional paid career that is fulfilling and rewarding, and for many has proven to be the right work life balance for them and their family.

One of the main reasons why fostering has not been considered an appropriate career by many, may be due to the many inaccurate myths regarding remuneration, with 67% of British people believing that fostering is not well paid, and 81% are unsure whether income from fostering is taxable. Swiis Foster Care firmly believe that if people knew more about the benefits of becoming a foster carer, more people would consider fostering as a career choice.

A fifth of Brits would like a career change that benefits society, yet 72% have not considered fostering as a career choice

Some of the main benefits of fostering as a paid career choice can be summarised as follows:

  • A strong sense of emotional fulfilment that comes from positively influencing a child’s life.
  • Financial compensation. Contrary to popular belief fostering pays well and Income from fostering is tax-free.
  • Professional development is assured via an in-depth training programme of both mandatory and specialist courses. Professional support is also provided to aid professional growth in the fostering sector.
  • 24-hour support is provided to all foster carers

Tim Notchell, company director and CEO at Swiis Foster Care, comments:

“Our survey has shown that this is the time of year when many people consider a career change, one which may positively benefit others and provide a sense of achievement for the work they do.  With a desire for many to have a career which pays well but can also make a difference to society, fostering is a career choice which has been discounted by many due to various misconceptions.

Swiis foster care regularly receive enquiries from many people who are interested in fostering but are unsure of whether they are eligible and do not know the true facts of ‘who can and cannot foster’.

In the recent study, Swiis Foster Care also discovered surprising insights regarding groups who are willing to consider fostering as a career.

Young Adults: The New Generation of Foster Carers

Contrary to convention, young adults are ready and willing to embrace the responsibility of fostering. The study shows that appetite for fostering declines as age increases, with 35% of 18–24-year-olds saying they have considered fostering, compared with 19% of 45–54-year-olds and just 10% of those over 55.

But despite this, younger generations are shown to be less sure about their eligibility. With 19% of those aged 18-24 stating they had considered fostering but did not think they were eligible.

Young adults: The new generation of foster carers

Men Ready to Step Up to the Plate

Contrary to belief, a growing number of men are expressing an interest in fostering.

The research found that more men than women are currently in the process of becoming foster carers (25 % of men, compared to 8% of women). It also shows that men are less concerned about becoming foster carers.  31% of women that had considered fostering stated that they were apprehensive to follow through, compared with only 19% of men.

However, relationship myths have a stronger hold amongst men, than they do with women. 51% of men were either unsure or believed you must be married or in a relationship to foster, compared with 46% of women.

Private Renters: Unleashing Unused Space

While private renters have the physical space needed to accommodate foster children, nearly a quarter (22%) of those believe that you need to be a homeowner to foster a child.

The truth of the matter is that you just need to have a spare bedroom in your home, be it rented or owned, and this research shows that 55% of those in private rental have at least one spare bedroom.

LGBTQ+ community: Embracing diversity and inclusion

LGBTQ+ Community: Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

While 32% of LGBTQ+ respondents stated they are interested in fostering, 19% of those were unsure if they would qualify because of their sexuality, highlighting the importance of demonstrating the inclusive nature of this crucial career.

When asked about the most prolific myths surrounding fostering, such as relationship status, living arrangement, age, work life and unemployment and benefits, members of the LGBTQ+ community show that they believe these myths to be true, at a consistently higher rate than those who identify as heterosexual.

To foster in the UK, applicants must be over 21 years old, have a stable living environment with a spare bedroom, whether they are private renters or homeowners, have either British Citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain and a genuine interest in providing a safe, caring home for a child.

Swiis Foster Care, and its sister company Swiis Foster Care Scotland are the UK’s largest family-owned, independent foster care agency. For more than 20 years, Swiis has worked in partnership with Local Authorities to change the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and young people in need of a foster home.

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