15:07, Monday, 3rd December 2018

North Lincolnshire Council is encouraging businesses across the area to become a Foster Carer Friendly Employer or business to help us to further develop our offer to foster carers and children in care.

Nationally, children in care are seen as one of the most vulnerable groups in society and our ambition in North Lincolnshire is that we want children to safely remain within their family or extended family wherever possible.  Where there is a need for children to come into care we are committed to ensuring that they achieve the best outcomes possible and that we support them to live ordinary lives.

One of the things that makes a positive difference to children in care is having highly skilled and caring foster carers who provide care to children who cannot remain with their own family.

To help us deliver this we have a well-developed network of local employers and businesses who are part of our foster carer friendly scheme. Through various initiatives these employers and businesses help us to support and recruit high quality foster carers for our most vulnerable children.

Fostering is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their parents or extended family, this care can be either on a long term or short term basis. Children in care have a range of vulnerabilities and a variety of unique needs and our foster carers are supported to provide a safe, healthy and nurturing home and give children the opportunity to meet their full potential.

There is a real need for more foster carers in North Lincolnshire to look after some of our most vulnerable children who can’t currently live with their family. Providing support for carers in the workplace can make a big difference.

As a Foster Carer Friendly Employer, you would support foster carers to provide stable placements for children in care. You can also help by providing:

  • Time for employees to be assessed as foster carers and time off for training
  • Flexible working
  • Emergency leave if required

As an employer or business you could help celebrate and support foster carers by:

  • Displaying information on foster care in your workplace
  • Hosting information sessions for your staff with our support
  • Helping raise awareness of foster carers throughout the year

Benefits to employees and businesses of being part of the scheme include:

  • Supporting the council to achieve its ambition for children in care
  • Fulfilling your corporate social responsibility role.
  • Promoting your commitment to work life balance
  • Building on your reputation and brand
  • You will have access to advice, information and support on helping staff who are or who become foster carers
  • The use the foster carer friendly logo on recruitment material to demonstrate your support to foster carers which could attract potential new staff

If you are interested in becoming a Foster Carer Friendly Employer or business? Get in touch with us. Call Tracy Eaden 01724 298552 or email tracy.eaden@northlincs.gov.uk.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer in North Lincolnshire, go to www.northlincs.gov.uk/fostering.

Some of the companies in North Lincolnshire that are already Foster Care Friendly Employers or businesses include:

  • Ongo
  • British Steel
  • Dulux Paint Centre
  • Taylor’s Family Butchers
  • PHASE
  • Hibaldstow Skydive
  • Manor Grange Decorators

Ashley Taylor of Taylor’s Family Butchers, said:

“We are happy to be part of this fostering scheme that will support foster carers whilst caring for young people. As an ex foster carer, we can appreciate the need for flexibility within the workplace. Fostering is an extremely important job that enables our sometimes vulnerable young people to have a loving and supportive home, something we may take for granted. We want to help promote fostering in our local area so therefore are fully supportive of this scheme.”

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said:

“We already have some fantastic local businesses signed up to our Foster Carer Friendly Employer scheme but are encouraging others to get on board as well.

“We recognise that some businesses won’t be able to make all the changes but we would ask that you consider the needs of foster carers and support them as much as you can.

“Being a foster carer is a huge step for anyone to take so it is vital that they receive support to carry out this role – employers play a big part of this.

“If you are interested in finding out about the scheme, please get in touch with our Fostering Team.”

National companies such as Tesco and O2 have already signed up to the national scheme spearheaded by the government.