Local businesses, employers and organisations are being invited to become Fostering Friendly and join the new scheme launched by North Lincolnshire Council’s Fostering team.
The scheme is open to all types of businesses and will help employers to support and understand the roles of their employees who foster and encourage those who might be interested in fostering. This is alongside raising awareness of and supporting fostering in the community.
Businesses are invited to attend the Fostering Friendly Scheme launch event at The Baths Hall on Friday 17 March, to find out more about the scheme and how they could get involved. Registration to attend can be done via Eventbrite.
Nearly 40 per cent of foster carers nationally combine fostering with other work and North Lincolnshire Council’s Fostering team would love to see this increase, particularly with how crucial a supportive and understanding employer is to foster carers.
Cllr Julie Reed, cabinet member for children and families, said: “This scheme is an initiative which we are very passionate and proud to be launching. It is a powerful mechanism that will bring residents, businesses, and the community together.
“It will show strong social responsibility and make it easier for people considering fostering to remain in employment.
“We are committed to supporting our children in care, foster carers and the inspirational work that they do every day, guiding our children into adulthood.
“Becoming a foster carer changes lives and we are encouraging our local businesses and wider community to support our fostering family, play a part in transforming our local children’s lives and showcase that North Lincolnshire is a Fostering Friendly county.”
Chas Allen, Commercial Director at The Trolleybus Museum in Sandtoft, said: “At the Trolleybus Museum, we’re proud to support fostering and North Lincolnshire Council’s Fostering Friendly Scheme. It’s important to us that all young people reach their full potential, whatever has happened in their lives.
“Foster carers play an essential role in supporting and nurturing those that are no longer able to live with their birth families, giving them opportunities they may otherwise be denied and provide a benefit to our communities and society.”
Members of the Fostering Friendly scheme can support in a variety of ways that can be individualised to each organisation depending on what they can commit to. This could include raising awareness in the community and across social media, offering discounts, providing work experience, offering space for training, or even putting in place a HR policy for all foster carers in their employment that offers flexibility to their employees.
Abi, a foster carer and a local nurse said: “My employer is very understanding, and I have an amazing team who are supportive of foster care. I discuss fostering in my monthly supervisions which aids my work life balance.
“I think it benefits my young person that I go to work as it creates a routine for us and helps prepare her for the future. She understands the importance of my job and sees the benefits herself.
“Having your own children or fostering is a choice – you should be supported in making that choice and being able to work at the same time.
“All evidence suggests that children thrive better in a nurturing environment and with consistency and it would be a real shame if someone had to stop fostering because of work.”
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “We are thrilled to be launching this scheme which is continuing to highlight the pivotal role of fostering for our local children.
“Businesses are signing up to the scheme and sending a message that they are fully committed to looking after their staff and children in care.
“The scheme will enable businesses to be progressive and further build their reputation and brand within the community.
“As a member of the scheme, businesses can promote themselves as Fostering Friendly, during any recruitment process – which will help with the retention of staff.”
Deligraze, a local business who have signed up to the scheme, said: “We are proud to announce that we have signed up to North Lincolnshire Council’s Fostering Friendly Scheme.
“It is brilliant to receive support and guidance on how we can implement changes to support foster carers and understand their needs. This scheme is something that is close to our hearts, and we can’t wait to work alongside the team.”
Those who join the scheme will benefit from comprehensive information, guidance and support from the North Lincolnshire Council Fostering team.
To get involved and find out more contact the team on 01724 297000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information can also be found on the North Lincolnshire Council website.