Council celebrates Fostering-Friendly employer status as it marks Foster Care Fortnight
To mark Foster Care Fortnight, Shropshire Council are pleased to announce that we are now a Fostering-Friendly employer.
The council is one of over 100 employers across the UK now with the status.
Fostering-Friendly is awarded to organisations who actively support fostering in particular, foster carer staff. The scheme is designed by The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity.
Shropshire’s Fostering-Friendly status and policy means we can provide additional support to staff who are foster carers (including those who wish to become foster carers), approved kinship carers and supported lodging providers.
The new policy will offer:
- Flexible working pattern for foster carers and those going through the approval process
- Up to nine additional days paid leave for those with fostering commitments, including:
- Assessment and training
- Attendance at approval panel
- Child review meetings, annual foster carer review meetings, training
What is foster care?
There are various types of foster care, but in all cases foster carers provide children who are unable to live with their birth family a loving, stable home for as long as they need it.
Kirstie Hurst-Knight, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and education, said:-
“I am delighted that we have become a Fostering-Friendly employer.
“Foster carers play a vital role in forming relationships with the children in their care and giving them the safe, stable home, they deserve.
“There are currently 436 children and young people in foster care in Shropshire, and we want to play our part in making a rewarding but challenging role as easy as possible for our foster carer staff.
“Having a Fostering Friendly policy in place helps us to do that, and both support staff who are already foster carers and encourage other colleagues to consider fostering as part of its ongoing work to recruit more foster carers.”
To learn more about fostering or becoming a foster carer, you can visit Shropshire Fostering website or call us on 0800 783 8798.
You can also register on our Virtual Fostering Information Event tonight (Wednesday 17 May 2023) at 6pm. To find out more visit https://www.shropshirefostering.co.uk/info-events/.
Fostering-Friendly is The Fostering Network’s programme to encourage employers to support fostering, and in particular, foster carers.
The Fostering-Friendly employers scheme offers businesses of any size a chance to make a difference for foster carers and the children they care for in their local communities, and improve support for their own staff at the same time.
Nearly 40 per cent of foster carers combine fostering with other work. Those who do say that a supportive employer can make all the difference, enabling them to balance employment with looking after children. You can read more in our report Combining Fostering and Other Work.
The Fostering Network’s Fostering-Friendly employers scheme helps employers to support and recognise the roles of their staff who foster, and involves no direct costs. Members of the scheme agree to put in place a fostering friendly HR policy for all foster carers in their employment (regardless of their fostering service). This includes offering foster carers flexible working and paid time off for training and settling a new child into their home.
Fostering-Friendly employers also help promote Foster Care Fortnight, the annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering, and encourage people to consider becoming foster carers and offer children the care they need.