Posted on: Monday 15 May 2023
Nearly 5000 children were in foster care in Wales last year.
As families across the country deal with the ongoing cost of living crisis, Foster Wales is calling on employers in Wales to become ‘fostering friendly’, in the hope of addressing the misconception that you cannot continue working if you become a foster carer.
This Foster Care Fortnight TM, 15 - 28 May, The Fostering Network, the UK’s leading fostering charity, and local authority fostering services in Wales are calling on the wider business community to lend their support and make it easier for their employees to combine fostering and working.
According to The Fostering Network, nearly 40% of foster carers combine fostering with other work.Their ‘fostering friendly’ policy encourages employers to provide flexibility and time off for employees who are prospective foster carers going through the application process.
The scheme also supports employees who are already foster carers, to allow time off for training, panel meetings, to settle a new child into their home and to respond to any emergencies which may arise.
Having the support of an employer may make the vital difference in the decision of an employee to become a foster carer.
Torfaen's fostering team have been engaging local businesses with Foster Wales paper chain figures, symbolising united efforts for the betterment of local children. This is the first step in establishing lasting relationships with businesses across Gwent.
Head of Foster Wales, Alastair Cope, said: “As the need for foster carers continues to grow, we need our community in Wales to step up.
“We know that when children stay connected, stay local and have someone to stick by them for the long term, we see better outcomes.
“So, if employers in Wales can support their employees in becoming foster carers, local authorities can help more children stay connected to their roots and ultimately, support them towards better futures.”
Torfaen Council Executive Member for Children, Families & Education, Councillor Richard Clark, said: “Reaching out to local employers to be fostering friendly is one of many things we are doing to support our foster carers here in Torfaen.
“To fit with life and work commitments, we also offer flexible learning opportunities for foster carers.
“This means that any training and transferrable skills from their workplace are recognised, in addition to offering a wide variety of valuable learning opportunities relevant to the children they care for, through our national Foster Wales learning and development framework."
To find out more about becoming a foster carer in Wales visit fosterwales.torfaen.gov.wales
To become a fostering friendly employer, get in touch with The Fostering Network email@example.com to find out more.