It’s Foster Care Fortnight and Torbay Council is celebrating after being accredited as a Fostering Friendly employer.
The Council is the 99th employer to receive the Fostering Friendly accreditation and the number is growing by the day, with 120 employers across the UK now with the status. Fostering Friendly is awarded to organisations who actively support fostering, in particular, foster carer employees.
Torbay’s Fostering Friendly policy means the Council offers:
-A flexible working pattern for foster carers and those going through the application process
-A minimum of five days extra paid leave for those with fostering commitments (including meetings with social workers or other agencies, attending training and settling young people into their new home)
-The Council will support both staff who are already foster carers and encourage other colleagues to consider fostering as part of its ongoing work to recruit more foster carers.
Nancy Meehan, Director of Children’s Services for Torbay Council, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that The Fostering Network has awarded us with Fostering Friendly employer status, which means we can not only support those staff who are already foster carers but also encourage others who may be thinking about fostering but haven’t yet taken the step, or who are looking for an employer with a Fostering Friendly approach.
“Providing a safe and loving foster home is one of the best gifts you can give to a looked after child, but many of our foster carers have also described fostering as a gift and a privilege.
“This is the perfect time to make a positive life change with child fostering if you are considering a new work/life balance. If you have flexible working hours, a spare room, and a kind heart, you could become Torbay foster carer. If you would like to find out more please get in touch with Torbay Children’s Services by calling 01803 207845 or visit our website at www.torbay.gov.uk/fostering.”
The Fostering Network is the UK’s leading fostering charity.
Their executive chair, Mervyn Erskine says “Becoming a Fostering Friendly employer is something to be really proud of. Foster carers are the bedrock of children’s social care – for the difference they make to the lives of children. It is important that this vital role is not only recognised, but also encouraged by their employers.
“By supporting existing foster carers and promoting the role to other employees, this helps to build on the thousands of extra fostering households needed in the UK, for the children who need them most.
“The scheme is free to join and suitable for organisations of any size – please get in touch with The Fostering Network to join the growing number of Fostering Friendly employers.”
Foster Care Fortnight is The Fostering Network’s annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and show how foster care transforms lives.
The theme of Foster Care Fortnight this year is Fostering Communities and you will hear from some of our partners about why they support fostering too. From Monday you can also share our posts and join in using the hashtag #FosteringCommunities.
You can also look out for Torbay Council’s fostering team at a range of events over the coming weeks and months – information about these is on our website. https://www.torbay.gov.uk/children-and-families/fostering/fostering-events/
For more information on fostering call or visit www.torbay.gov.uk/fostering or call 01803 207845.
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