Carlisle Morrisons Is The Latest To Join County Council’s Fostering Friendly Employer Scheme

Morrisons, in Carlisle, is the latest business to join the Cumbria County Council Fostering Friendly Employer (FFE) scheme as part of a drive to get more foster carers.

Morrisons on Kingstown Road, Carlisle joins 18 other Cumbrian businesses which have joined the Fostering Friendly Employer initiative since its launch in February 2015.

Dawn Lowdon receives FFE certificate from Claire Lloyd

Dawn Lowdon, People Manager at Morrisons Carlisle, said: “We are delighted to have been asked to join the list of Fostering Friendly Employers.

“As a store we have already had colleagues successfully go through the process to become foster carers and will continue to support them and any future colleagues who wish to foster.”

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.

The changes are simple and will have a significant impact on the children in Cumbria who require foster care.

The scheme asks for companies to:

  • recognise the needs of foster carers in employment policies
  • help CCC celebrate fostering and foster carers.

Our foster carers come from all walks of life and the one thing they have in common is a wish to change children’s lives.

Emily and James Hamilton, from Carlisle, are short term foster carers for children under four, as well as being parents to Jacob, aged 8, and Isobel, aged 11.

Emily and James Hamilton

“The reward for us has been to see the children smile and respond and make progress while they’ve been with us. We’ve created so many happy memories already in fostering and during lockdown caring for the little ones gave our lives a routine and structure too.

“I would definitely encourage anyone thinking about fostering to get in touch and attend a drop in if they can and speak to the council team. The process is really supportive.

“In the future we would love to foster older children, as our children grow up, as we are both used to working with teenagers in teaching and once our own children leave home we’d love to do mother and baby fostering too.

“It is really a varied role and it is exciting to think that fostering will change for us, as we change as a family.”

Claire Lloyd, Fostering Service Manager, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Morrisons Carlisle onto the scheme. Fostering Friendly Employers can make a huge difference for children looked after in Cumbria.

“By signing up to the scheme Morrisons Carlisle 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.”

To find out more about fostering you can visit cumbria.gov.uk/fostering or speak to the team at a fostering information stand at Morrisons Carlisle on Thursday October 22 from 11am to 1pm.