Game changing report from Education Select committee enquiry

Education Select Committee Publish Report

Finally the Education Select Committee Published it’s report into the state of Fostering in England and Whales. 

By Sarah Anderson

Early this morning the government released the Education Select committee’s report on fostering,  the Rt Hon Robert Halfon, chair of committee delivered the most damning indictment of the foster care industry.

It delivered the IWGB’s narrative almost verbatim, the IWGB’s mission statement from day one, Worker Status, a National Register and Protection against whistleblowing and allegations. It showed the massive impact the IWGB has had in 15 short months, the enormity of the impact we have had and how we have turned the whole industry on its head.

He said Foster children…are currently being failed by the care system…and that the best gift the Government could give foster children this Christmas is to commit to improving the support they receive to enable them to thrive in their lives ahead.

So what are the headlines for foster care workers?

1. The report recognised that Foster care workers are caught up in “bogus self-employment” which “breaks every Government standard for self-employment” …The committee recommend this to the government:

“We consider it unsatisfactory that foster carers are subject to the responsibilities of self-employed status without the benefits. In light of the recommendations of the Work and Pensions and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committees, the Government must state whether self-employment is the appropriate employment status for foster carers”

It went on to say that according to a recent government report ‘A framework for modern employment’ written by work and pension strategy committees that FCW’s could be “workers by default”

2. The report recognised that we need an national register of FCW’s something the IWGB have said from day one, they recommended the following:

“We recommend that the Government develops and consults widely, including with foster carers, on proposals for a national college for foster carers. For a college to be truly national and accessible, it should be a virtual association, which works to represent foster carers, share knowledge and resources, and bring greater prestige to the role of foster carers”

3. The report recognised that FCW’s going through the allegation process go through hell, and the enormity of the issues for them around allegations, how unprotected they are, how children are inappropriately children removed from homes, information withheld, placements withheld, payments stopped, denied support or representation, blacklisted, and how the National Minimum Standards are being flagrantly disregarded around the country. And so importantly they recognised how foster care workers operate in a climate of fear, stating that:

“A real and ever-present threat when dealing with the authorities and agencies”

Their recomendation:

“The Government should bring forward legislative proposals to extend the scope of the Public Interest Disclosure Act to cover foster carers, so that they are protected during proceedings or when raising concerns of their own, and safeguarded from the consequences of malicious or unfounded accusations”

This is a truly game changing report, a new narrative headed by the IWGB, a massive win for vulnerable and exploited FCW’s around the country.