Fostering Friendly

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Fostering Friendly is The Fostering Network's programme to encourage employers to support fostering, and in particular, foster carers.

About Fostering Friendly employers

Fostering Friendly

Foster carers who combine fostering with other work say that a supportive employer can make all the difference, enabling them to balance employment with looking after children (read our report Combining Fostering and Other Work for more details).

Many fostering services are encouraging employers locally to show their support for looked after children by supporting the foster carers who look after them. A growing number of employers – including fostering services which are leading by example – are doing this by adopting fostering friendly employment policies, such as offering foster carers flexible working and paid time off for training and settling a new child into their home. 

The Fostering Network’s Fostering Friendly employers’ scheme helps employers to support and recognise the roles of their employees who foster. 

Members of the scheme agree to implement a fostering friendly HR policy for all foster carers in their employment (regardless of their fostering service) and to promote Foster Care Fortnight, our annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and to encourage people to consider becoming foster carers. The Fostering Network, itself a Fostering Friendly employer, provides a template human resources policy and a logo to show that an employer is Fostering Friendly.

How you can get involved

If you are an employer who wants to become Fostering Friendly, you will need to commit to implementing a fostering friendly HR policy and to supporting our annual Foster Care Fortnight™ by promoting fostering and the need for more foster carers. Email learninganddevelopment@fostering.net to find out more and receive the template HR policy, or to make this commitment with a fostering friendly HR policy already in place and receive the Fostering Friendly logo. 

I want to ensure that those who are making an important difference in children’s lives are offered flexibility and support to enable them to combine fostering with other work. So, I urge fostering services to consider what they might do differently to enable their foster carers to work alongside their caring responsibilities if they wish to by, for example, offering training and support outside of normal ‘office hours’. I would also encourage employers to consider how they can support their employees who are interested in fostering or that are already caring for looked after children.

Edward Timpson, minister of state for children and families at the Department for Education