Fostering friendly employers

What is a fostering friendly employer? And how to become a fostering friendly employer.

What is a fostering friendly employer?

A supportive and flexible employer enables foster carers to balance their work and caring responsibilities to meet the needs of the children they care for and East Riding of Yorkshire Council are encouraging other local employers to become fostering friendly.

Lisa’s story

"I work three days a week to ensure financial security alongside my fostering, plus I love my job. I also strongly believe it is positive that children see adults going to work. It can sometimes be tricky juggling school runs and meetings whilst managing my work commitments but having an employer that supports fostering makes all the difference."

How can businesses help?

Time off for training

Anyone interested in fostering must go through a robust assessment process and intensive training before they can be approved as foster carers. Employers can support staff interested in fostering by giving them time off for assessment and training prior to approval, for example three to five days.


Foster carers need to be able to respond to the needs of the children in their care. They are an important part of the team supporting the child and must be able to attend the regular meetings about the children they care for. Access to flexible working, swapping shifts with colleagues or similar could really help foster carers to do this.

Emergency leave

The unexpected happens. Providing foster carers with the same access to emergency leave as parents, and recognising fostered children as dependents, like any for any other parents, will enable foster carers to provide a stable and secure home for the children they care for.

Celebrating fostering

Your business could help celebrate and support foster care by:

  • Making information about how to become a foster carer available on notice boards, intranet sites or internal publications.
  • Hosting an information session for your staff, that we would support.
  • Providing space in your work place during Foster Care Fortnight to support the drive to raise awareness and recruit new foster carers.

Please note: In some cases business demands might mean not all changes are possible. This is not one size fits all, our aim is that employers consider the needs of foster carers and do what they can to help. The reality is that a very small number of people apply to become foster carers each year, while the impact on your business would be minimal, the impact on our ability to recruit foster carers could be significant.

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