Jean Boag nominated her employer for a Fostering Excellence Award in 2015 for their willingness to provide flexible working hours to enable Jean to become a foster carer.
Last year when I saw the fostering network advertise that they would be looking for nominees for their awards ceremony in November I thought what a brilliant way of showing my employer how much I appreciate the support I get from them as a foster carer.
I have worked for Royal Mail for 16 years and have fostered for five. Since I have been a foster carer, Royal Mail has been so supportive and understanding. Not only has my manager allowed me to go home and sort out problems during my working day but also allows me to work term time only and family friendly hours. This is such a brilliant thing to be able to do as it allows me to be at home with the children during all their holidays. I am also home when the children arrive home from school which is really important to them because it is when they usually want to tell you about their day. Plus there is also the after school activities which I have to be a taxi for.
I enjoy working for Royal Mail and for them to receive the awards was such an achievement for such a large company. I also hope it encourages other managers within the company to allow other employees who foster to be more flexible. Also anyone thinking of fostering may now see that it’s possible to do both although at times it isn't easy but with the support of good employees it helps immensely.
It’s important to me to work for a company which is Fostering Friendly as it enables me to do the two jobs that I love doing. I would like everyone to know that anyone can ask for family friendly hours in any company it's not just Royal Mail. I was fortunate enough to hear about it and put my application in and had it accepted straight away.
In the future I hope that more companies become aware and understanding of the difficulties and commitment that can comes with fostering. As more and more children are coming in to the care system it is important that people in employment are encouraged to become carers rather than being worried that they might have to give up their job.