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Fostering Friendly Scheme in North Lincolnshire

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Make a difference – become fostering friendly

Our Fostering Friendly Scheme encourages employers, businesses and organisations to support and recognise the roles of their employees who foster and helps to support the wider community by showing a strong social responsibility to children in care.

Members of the scheme can support in a variety of ways including raising awareness in the community, offering discounts for foster carers, providing work experience, or agreeing to put in place a fostering friendly HR policy for all foster carers in their employment.

What is Fostering?

Fostering is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their birth families or relatives. Some children return to their families, but others may stay in long term foster care, some may be adopted, and others will move on to live independently when the time is right. Children in care have a variety of unique needs and our foster carers are required to provide a safe, healthy, and nurturing home and give these children the opportunity and loving environment to thrive and grow.

Family outside stood by a car

Did you know?

  • Nearly 40 percent 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.
  • This is where you can help.

What is our Fostering Friendly Scheme?

Our Fostering Friendly Scheme helps employers to support and recognise the roles of their employees who foster and involves no direct costs, whilst supporting their wider community.

We are looking for all types of businesses, employers and organisations, large and small to get involved with our scheme. Members of the scheme can support in a variety of ways including raising awareness in the community, offering discounts for foster carers, offering space for training or events, displaying posters or leaflets, sharing information on social media or agreeing to put in place a fostering friendly HR policy for all foster carers in their employment. This could include offering foster carers flexible working and paid time off for training and settling a new child into their home, providing similar flexibility for parents of their own birth children.

Fostering Friendly employers can further help promote fostering during our annual campaign supporting Foster Care Fortnight – raising the profile of fostering nationally. The campaign celebrates the fantastic and inspiring work that foster carers do and encourages people to consider becoming foster carers, offering children the care they need and to stay in their local area.

How can you help and what does the scheme involve?

Being a member of the scheme and what you can offer will be bespoke to your organisation and the team will discuss different options with you.

By signing up to the scheme you can help by:

  • Making information about how to become a foster carer available on notice boards, intranet sites, websites, social media, internal publications, newsletters, and email signatures – we can provide the information for you.
  • Hosting information sessions for your staff – our team will be available to present the fostering information and explain the support available.
  • Providing space in your office, building or grounds to display posters or banners and other literature to further raise awareness and recruit new foster carers or alternatively on your digital outlets.
  • Helping provide support, services and social events for local foster families.
  • Offering work experience and support in gaining employment for young people in foster care and care leavers.
  • Providing sponsorship, prizes or rewards for celebration events or competitions.
  • Offering discounts or special offers for foster carers and foster families.
  • Implement a fostering friendly HR policy for all foster carers in your employment (regardless of their fostering service) – we can fully support with this and provide you with the guidance for your policy template to use.

Young man in a supermarket with younger girl

What do you get in return?

Benefits for Employers:

  • Once you are approved, you can display your Fostering Friendly artwork with pride, physically at your offices or building and digitally.
  • North Lincolnshire Council will advertise your entry into our scheme, and you will be listed on our website.
  • Build your reputation and brand within the community – send a message to service users, potential customers, and future employees that you are fully committed to looking after your staff and Children in Care.
  • Show strong social responsibility. People living in North Lincolnshire have a strong connection to the area and being seen to look after the wider community sends a clear message that you are a responsible employer with a long-term commitment to the community.
  • Supporting staff builds morale.
  • You will have access to advice, information, and support on helping staff who are or who are wanting to become foster carers.
  • Implementing a Fostering Friendly policy means employees could be more likely to remain in work while fostering and therefore potentially increase retention of staff.
  • A Fostering Friendly policy would encourage more people to consider fostering since they are supported at work, meaning more children are able to stay within their local area to thrive and grow.
  • Being a member of our scheme and a Fostering Friendly employers can improve support for staff, making workplaces friendlier for foster carers, benefiting the children in their care, and making it easier for people to consider fostering.
  • Promote your commitment to work life balance.
  • You will share in the celebration of foster care and the vital role it has in transforming children’s lives.

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Support for employers

Our Fostering Friendly team give employers all the advice and support they will need to join the scheme and maintain involvement.

You will work with the dedicated recruitment team, and this consists of our Fostering Recruitment Manager, Fostering Recruitment Officers, Supported Lodgings Officer and Fostering Marketing & Communications Officer.

The scheme is completely free to join and after discussion with the team, to sign up you will need to complete a membership form which you will be guided through with a member from the team.

If you are interested in joining our scheme and becoming Fostering Friendly or want to find out more, please contact our team on fostering@northlincs.gov.uk, call 01724 297000 or register using the form below:

North Lincolnshire Council’s fostering services team was inspected and judged as Outstanding by Ofsted. Read the Ofsted report.

Read more information about fostering services in North Lincolnshire.

Friends of Fostering newsletter

If you would like to receive regular news, updates and information about our Fostering Community, please click on the link below to sign up to our Friends of Fostering newsletter

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