copyright Lisa Baker 2021

Bridgend County Borough Council is to become a Fostering Friendly employer to help encourage more people to become foster carers.

Created by The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity, the programme has been developed to encourage employers to support fostering, and to support foster carers themselves.

In adopting a Fostering Friendly policy, employees who are foster carers are offered the opportunity to work flexibly where possible and are provided with up to five days ‘foster carer’ leave. This can be used to help the child settle into their home, for example, attend relevant training and for emergency circumstances that may arise from their role as a foster parent.

Becky Walsh who has been a foster carer for 17 years in Bridgend County Borough said: “I’m really glad that employers are looking at this, it’s really important for foster carers to be supported in their roles.

“Having an understanding employer means foster carers have the flexibility to meet the needs of our young people in the community and enables us to be the best that we can be, both as a foster carer and in our place of work.”

 

The Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Cllr Jane Gebbie said: “We are delighted to take the necessary steps in order to become a Fostering Friendly employer and encourage, where possible, other local businesses to do the same.

“The policy is about helping to bust the myth that individuals are not allowed to work if they become a foster carer.

“Many new foster families are needed every year, across the county borough to care for children of all ages and in particular for sibling groups, older children and children with additional needs.

“Foster carers provide day-to-day support, love and stability to children and young people who can’t live with their birth families, providing positive working role models, and a stable and caring home.

“We hope that in adopting this Fostering Friendly employer policy, we will not only help those employees who are foster carers already but also encourage those who may be considering becoming foster carer to take that step.”

 

To find out more about fostering visit Foster Wales Bridgend, call 01443 425007 or email enquiries@fosterwalesctm.co.uk