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Council calls for more foster carers over Foster Care Fortnight

Norfolk County Council, 14 May 2024 14:54

Five children in Norfolk come into care every week and Norfolk County Council is calling for more people to come forward to give them a loving home.

The council is using Foster Care Fortnight to urge more people to consider fostering and encourage more businesses to become foster friendly employers. 

There are more than 1,200 children in care in Norfolk and, although numbers have stabilised in recent years, the council needs more carers to provide stability and safety for the children it looks after. 

Penny Carpenter, Cabinet member for Children's Services at Norfolk County Council, said: "Our foster families are the lifeblood of Norfolk Fostering Service, and we thank and celebrate everyone who works in the fostering community. 

"We really need more people to come forward to be carers, so that as many children as possible can benefit from living as a family. We know that this gives them the best chance to flourish and for foster carers, it gives them the reward of making such a huge difference in a child's life." 

The council is encouraging businesses to become fostering friendly organisations, to make it easier for their staff to become carers. 

Foster Friendly employers support their staff by giving them flexibility to take their foster child to medical appointments, attend parents' evenings and sports day, or to work from home if the child is sick. 

Norfolk County Council has recently become accredited as a Fostering Friendly Employer and has 30 employees who are also foster carers with Norfolk Fostering Service. Foster carers are self-employed. Many continue working at their usual place of employment at the same time as being a foster carer.  

Cllr Carpenter added: "As a county, we need to work together to give Norfolk children the childhoods they deserve. We call on businesses county-wide to support their employees to make it easier for more people to step up and become foster parents. The more local foster families we have, the easier it is to keep our children rooted in their communities, able to attend their usual school and after-school activities so they can flourish at a time of huge upheaval for them." 

National fostering charity, the Fostering Network, offers free advice and support for businesses considering becoming a fostering friendly employer. It's completely free to do, and involves a willingness to support foster carers, and some changes to your HR policy to set out the support you will offer.

For more details see The Fostering Network's page about Fostering Friendly.

Last modified: 14 May 2024 14:58

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