Fosters Solicitors LLP are delighted to confirm they have become the first Norfolk company to have received the 'Carer Friendly Tick Award - Employer' in recognition of their support for colleagues who are family carers.
The award is given by Caring Together, a network partner of Carers Trust, who provide services and support for carers and their families across the eastern counties, including Norfolk.
With an increasing number of people now found to be caring for dependent adults and children, Caring Together works with employers to help them identify carers and provide support. This can help keep them able to work, as well as caring, and not feeling they must leave their careers in order to give the level of care they want to give the person they look after. The award aims to encourage and highlight businesses with good practices to support their staff who are balancing both a career and caring responsibilities.
At Fosters we currently have five colleagues who care for their family members, and four others who have experiences of being a carer. We have worked with them to draft a specific carers policy to provide relevant assistance and set up a support group of staff across all three branches who are there to listen. A flexible working policy has also been adopted to enable staff to request either short or long-term changes to contracted hours, helping them to balance their commitments.
Commenting on the award, Fosters' Head of Staff Care Heather Brown said: "We are all thrilled to have received this award as recognition for our wonderful carers. Although we already had some supportive processes in place, working towards this standard has given us a great opportunity for understanding, and for us to formalise what we do to publicise it across our business and to involve and support more colleagues.
"It's also been great for actively engaging all of our staff to create a support network and help wellbeing for everyone, which is so important during this time of uncertainty we find ourselves in due to Coronavirus - but especially for those who are needing to care for relatives, some in the vulnerable high-risk groups."
Kerry Read, a Trainee Solicitor at Fosters and carer herself, added: "I jumped at the opportunity to get involved with Fosters and their aim to achieve the Carers Friendly Tick Award - especially in light of the efforts the firm already made in caring for their employees with caring responsibilities.
"From the outset, the company was keen to ascertain the views of those caring and how best they could formalise the support that was in place. We developed a Caring for Carers support team, with 'Carer Champions' who are available for all members of staff to approach and discuss the caring responsibilities they are facing.
"As a 'Carer Champion' myself, I have observed first-hand the impact that raising awareness of being a carer has had on those staff members who felt alone in their responsibilities. The Carer Friendly Tick Award has truly united carers together across Fosters."
Caring Together's Head of Carer Services, Andy McGowan said: "With three in five of us likely to be a carer at some stage in our lives and over 600 employees giving up work every day because of caring responsibilities, we are seeing more and more organisations in our communities recognising the importance of identifying and supporting carers of all ages.
"We are delighted that Fosters Solicitors have shown their commitment to this, by signing up to Norfolk County Council's Carers Charter and have now been awarded the Carer Friendly Tick in recognition of all they now have in place. This not only benefits carers but also helps businesses as their employees are able to work more effectively."
Councillor Julie Brociek-Coulton is Carers Champion for Norfolk County Council, she commented: "Fosters Solicitors are a fantastic example to organisations across the county. Supporting carers is more important than ever right now because of the additional pressures being faced by employees with caring responsibilities. We would invite organisations across Norfolk to pledge their commitment to the Carer's Tick scheme and to sign up to the Carer's Charter. It's a simple first step towards recognising the vital role of unpaid carers and giving them the support they need."
More information about the Carer Friendly Tick Award and the work of Caring Together is available on their website - please visit to find out how you can get involved and support.
And to find out more about the Norfolk Carers Charter please visit Norfolk County Council's website.