BEC, based in Cleator Moor, has joined 17 other Cumbrian businesses which have joined the Fostering Friendly Employer initiative since its launch in February 2015.
BEC Chief Executive Officer, Michael Pemberton, stated how proud he felt to be able to support our Fostering Friendly Employer scheme, which recognises the importance of foster carers and the support they provide to some of Cumbria’s most vulnerable children and young people.
Mr Pemberton said: “As a company, BEC are committed to providing our employees with the right environment for a good work life balance. Understanding the need for our employees to have flexibility to allow for career development whilst managing the demands of family life.”
BEC employee, Rachael Doran, and her husband Karl, are long term foster carers for a brother and sister aged 12 and 10.
Rachael said: “We applied to foster in April 2018 and were approved by November. We decided on a long term placement because I know in my heart of hearts that I would struggle with short term and saying goodbye to the children when they move on. We already had three really lovely, sensitive lads and we decided, all of us together, that whoever came to us would be their siblings and a part of our family, treated just like the boys.
“As I now work part time at BEC we thought fostering school age children would work best for us and, as we had two spare rooms, we thought we’d love to have a brother and sister join our family. So we attended a fostering exchange day at Rheged to find out more about the siblings groups who need homes in Cumbria and it was through seeing a profile of the children there, that we ended up with our placement.
“They both fit in so well and we’ve all got lots in common - the children have made the whole thing so easy for us! Both kids are bright as buttons and have so much potential and are doing really well at school.
“I always knew I could love other children but even I have been surprised by how quickly I have come to love the children as much as my own; there is exactly the same bond there as with our own kids.
“My employer BEC has been really supportive from day one - allowing me to swap shifts when I need to. It is great that they have now become fostering friendly and that they recognise fostering for what it is and are being so supportive.”
In Cumbria there are more than 700 children, of all ages and from all backgrounds, placed in care for many different reasons. The council wants employers to come forward and implement changes as part of their corporate social responsibility to help support its work to recruit and retain foster carers in Cumbria.
Cllr Anne Burns, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
“We’re delighted to welcome BEC onto the scheme; Fostering Friendly Employers can make a huge difference for children looked after in Cumbria.
“I think it sets a great example to other local employers and I hope more will follow their lead. This is a prime illustration of how a company is taking its role in the community seriously.”
For more information on fostering visit cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or call 0303 333 1216