Here's our step-by-step guide to starting your own Office Foster Program. Questions and comments are more than welcome.
Let's Do This
Step 1: Canvass your coworkers to gauge interest.
- There's strength in numbers. The more employees excited about fostering, the better chance you have at approval.
Step 2: Find out if any employees are allergic to cats.
- Before seeking program approval, confirm that any coworkers with allergies would be comfortable with cats residing in one or two conference rooms. Many employees, even those with allergies, are fine as long as the cats aren't free-roaming near them. Still it's a good idea to check with everyone.
Step 3: Decide which room in your office would make a great cat room.
- If your office has conference rooms or private areas, those are great options. Choose a small room near someone responsible for the program so that the cats can roam free with supervision.
Step 4: Make a list of everything you'll need to care for a cat.
- Suggestions to get you started: a crate, litterbox, litter, blankets, food, food and water dishes, toys, scratch posts, brush
- Some rescues and shelters will provide these items for you.
Step 5: List at least 3 rescues or shelters you could partner with.
- Wait to contact them until you have approval from your company first.
- Rescues and shelters maintain “ownership” of the cats while you foster.
Step 6: Get an idea of who will care for cats weekdays and weekends.
- This doesn't need to be set in stone. Just get a sense of who is interested in helping in office and who can take the cats home on the weekends.
Step 7: Create a document outlining your plan.
- List every detail you can think of to show your company the thought and care you put into this.
- Explain how the program will add to your office culture, uphold your company's core values and provide much needed community aid.
Step 8: Schedule time to present in person to decision makers.
- Have your plan document printed for reference.
- Be confident! This is a great idea and you've put a lot of work into it.
Step 9: Rejoice as your idea is approved! Then get to work.
- Once your company approves the plan, reach out to your top rescue or shelter to see if they are interested in being your partner.
- Once a rescue or shelter partner is confirmed, obtain the necessary items to care for the cats on site.
- Create a care schedule for week days and weekends. Outlook and Google calendars are relatively easy to setup!