Buckinghamshire County Council is a Fostering Friendly Employer

Buckinghamshire County Council is making a new commitment to its staff who currently foster or may be thinking about fostering as it becomes an official Fostering Friendly Employer.

The commitment means that the Council will do all it can to support staff in their dual role as a foster carer and council employee. This translates into ensuring staff are given agreed time off for any training they need to do as part of the foster carer recruitment and assessment process, allowing flexibility for them to respond to the needs of any children in their care and providing foster carers with the same access to emergency leave that parents have.

The Fostering Friendly Employer scheme is a national initiative developed by the Fostering Network. Its aim is to encourage more people to think about fostering in combination with a part time job in a bid to ensure that enough homes are available locally for all the looked after children who need them.

Warren Whyte, Cabinet Memberfor Children’s Services said: “In Buckinghamshire there are currently more than 400 children in need of a foster home and we want to encourage more people to consider fostering by making it as easy as possible for them to do alongside their existing job so they are able to easily balance their work and caring responsibilities.

“Many people believe that if you work you can’t foster but this is simply not true and we want to fully support any of our staff who may be considering fostering to take that first step and get in touch with us.”

In months to come the council will be rolling out the scheme to other employers in the county, encouraging them to also become Fostering Friendly Employers.