Fire service awarded foster friendly accreditation status

We are celebrating after being awarded foster friendly accreditation status by The Fostering Network, who help organisations to actively support fostering. 

The fire service is now recognised as a ‘Fostering Friendly’ employer having demonstrated its support for employees making the workplace friendlier for foster carers to benefit the children in their care and making it easier for staff to consider fostering.

The service offers a flexible working pattern to foster carers and those going through the application process, who can access five days extra paid leave for their fostering commitments.  

These involve meetings with social workers and other agencies, attending training and settling young people into their new home. 

Michelle Hickmott, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the service in being recognised as a ‘Fostering Friendly’ organisation and a lot of hard work has gone into achieving this status. 

“Being a foster carer is truly life-changing, and being able to support our staff is incredibly important. If you have a spare room and spare time, even as little as one weekend a month, you can make a real difference to a child’s life. There is no such thing as a typical foster carer.” 

Mervyn Erskine, Executive Chair at The Fostering Network, said: “ Becoming a ‘Fostering Friendly’ employer is something to be really proud of. Foster carers are the bedrock of children’s social care – for the difference they make to the lives of children. It is important that this vital role is not only recognised, but also encouraged by their employers.  

“By supporting existing foster carers and promoting the role to other employees, this helps to build on the thousands of extra fostering households needed in the UK, for the children who need them most. “