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Calls for employers to support foster carers

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton is calling for employers to do more to support employees who are foster carers, as new figures show that the care system is facing major challenges.

Mr Loughton is asking more big employers to give foster carers the same rights to flexible working and time off, as to any other parent. He wants more employers to follow in the footsteps of Tesco and O2, which have introduced “foster family friendly” policies.

These include allowing them to take five days off for pre-approval training; flexible working to help foster children settle in at home; shift swapping schemes to help foster carers juggle commitments; and having the same access to emergency compassionate leave as any parents with their own children do.

According to Mr Loughton, the government will make this easier with the forthcoming Children and Families Bill, which will expand flexible working and shared parental leave.