foster carers rights

Foster carers’ rights at work

Foster Care Fortnight is the UK’s biggest foster care awareness-raising campaign, delivered by the leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network. Established in 1997,  supports fostering services and highlights the need for more foster carers. Thousands of new foster families are needed every year to care for children, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, sibling groups, disabled children and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.  

Fostering creates a secure and nurturing family environment for children who cannot live with their parents or relatives. Foster carers’ rights at work are no different to other employees although they often juggle fostering with other work commitments.

What rights does a foster carer have at work?  

Employees can now request flexible working arrangements from the first day of starting a job, including adjustments to their working hours to accommodate their fostering responsibilities. While employers are not obligated to grant these requests, they must handle them reasonably. Refusal may occur only for specified business reasons, such as potential impacts on performance, inability to meet commitments, or lack of work during proposed working times. 

Fostering to adopt  

Regarding fostering to adopt, eligible employees have the right to paid time off for five adoption appointments after being matched with a child. They must inform their employer within seven days of permanently fostering a child and becoming their legal parent. Providing early information to employers facilitates discussions about support and flexible working options, aiding in business continuity. 

Fostering HR policies  

In terms of fostering HR policies, around 40 per cent of foster carers balance fostering with other employment. The Fostering Network operates a Fostering Friendly employer scheme, enabling businesses of all sizes to support foster carers’ rights and the children they care for in their communities. Scheme members commit to implementing fostering-friendly HR policies for all foster carers within their employment. Even without a formal policy employers may still offer support, making an early conversation about potential support mechanisms beneficial. 

Contact Us

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.