The IWGB Foster Carer Branch is working hard on behalf of it’s members to raise knowledge, awareness and understanding about the amazing work done by Foster Carers and Foster Families, but also to to improve the working condition for Foster Carers and in order to achieve better outcomes for the amazing children and young people in the care system.
Under the Campaigns menu you will find details of all current campaign and stated goals of the Foster Carer Union. Every campaign is intended to further the stated goals of the Foster Carer Union and these are;
- To establish a national register of Foster Care Workers
- To gain proper worker status for Foster Care Workers
- To represent Foster Care Workers in the workplace on issues as a recognised Trade Union on matters that affect them
A National Register of Foster Carer workers
This would be similar to the national register of Nurses or other care professionals and would constitute a central register of Foster Carers information and credentials. Their Form F information, their qualifications and competences could be retained within a central register and would be available to fostering providers including Local Authorities and Intendant Fostering Agencies. Currently this information is held by the Foster Carer’s own service provider but when Foster carers change their provider they must be reassessed for their Form F over a period of many moths and at great expense to the new service provided. Also it is currently commonplace for any training and qualification to be lost as a consequence of transfer to a new service provider and have to be redone at great expense to the new service provider.
The introduction of a Central Register would bring a level of professionalism currently absent from fostering and ultimately save time and money for service providers. it would also drive the establishment of nationally recognised standards and a national curriculum for fostering training.
Workers Rights for Foster carers
Although Foster Carers are employed excursively, highly regulated, trained, supervised and managed by their service provider, they are recognised as self-employed. As a consequence of this self-employed status, Foster Carers have no employment rights whatsoever but strangely unable to set their own fee’s, chose who they work for or when they work. In short they are employed by a service provider but denied any workers right by virtue of their self-employed status. Foster Carers are the epitome of the GIG economy working in an extremely challenging environment but with absolutely no workers rights or protections. This situation is clearly untenable and must be changed.
The IWGB Foster Carer Union is fighting to change this situation by challenging the current employment status through the Employment Tribunal Services. The union has had some success in this area but will not stop until Foster Carers are recognised as Workers with the associated and necessary workers rights.
Representation for Members
This issue is closely associated with the fight for worker status above. As self-employed workers, Foster carers have no right to representation in the workplace on matter of grievance and discipline or even when having to deal with like alterations, this Leaves them exposed to the possibility of unfair or mistreatment by Social Workers, Local Authorities or other service providers. Representation in the workplace is a basic employment right taken for granted by all other workers but denied to Foster carers.
The IWGB Foster Carer Branch will not rest until the union is recognised by all Local Authorities and private service providers and their members are fully represented and supported in the workplace.