Retailer John Lewis Partnership, insurance firm Admiral and the Welsh government have become foster-friendly employers after receiving accreditation from the Fostering Network.
Announced to coincide with Foster Care Fortnight (15 to 28 May), accreditation was awarded to employers offering dedicated policies and support to employees who wish to foster children.
As of this week, John Lewis Partnership introduced additional paid leave to all new foster carers within its John Lewis and Waitrose businesses.
The Welsh government introduced policies allowing staff to take time off to welcome and settle a child from a local authority into their home. Local authorities in Cardiff, Swansea and Bridgend introduced additional leave and flexible working hours for staff who foster, joining Powys, Pembrokeshire, Neath Port Talbot, Flintshire and Wrexham.
Admiral committed to raising awareness of its family-friendly policies over the fortnight, including its foster carers policy, which gives staff paid time off to attend meetings or training during the approval process, and paid leave to settle a child in when they arrive. This was part of its recognition of the importance of spending time together in order to build a successful relationship.
Rhian Langham, head of people at Admiral, said: “We’re delighted to support our staff who wish to make a difference and change a child’s life, and we recognise the importance of supporting and retaining our valued people who may otherwise be facing the difficult decision to choose between work and foster caring. We’re committed to supporting our staff and are proud to be a family-friendly employer that continually looks at its offerings to ensure they apply to everyone.”
Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, added: “We are incredibly proud to be giving even more support to our partners who are foster carers. They will now qualify for an additional week of paid leave, meaning they will have more flexibility to balance all the things they need to be great foster carers, attending appointments or undertaking training.”