I have run out of superlatives for this year and we are not even at the end of January.
The highlight beyond doubt has been the presentation by John Hendy QC of our draft Foster Care Workers bill to a packed All-Party Parliamentary Group session on January 29th. There were also speeches from Dr Jason Moyer-Lee, the Fostering Network, Jane Wright Chair of the Scottish Branch and myself. We all were calling for immediate action. You can see the video from Parliament here – it is well worth a watch.
The need for this Bill was highlighted by the Fostering Network’s State of the Nation’s Foster Care report and survey published on Monday 4th Feb, which showed a dire picture of foster care and the bleak and disheartening future of care for our most vulnerable children if we continue along this trajectory. Everyone was shocked except us, everyone spoke of a ‘looming crisis’ except us, as foster care workers were not shocked, not only have we known this for years but we say this crisis is not ‘looming’ it is already here.
Whilst the fostering establishment and media went into overdrive about all the problems, what was wrong and what a crisis we are in, the IWGB is the only organisation to come up with a solution. We have a real concrete solution that has been devised and developed over 2yrs intensive work at the coalface with the actual workforce delivering foster care.
To read about our solution click here.
To read our draft Foster Care Workers Bill click here.
These documents will soon go out again to consultation with YOU, our members. This is a Bill written by YOU, real foster care workers. If you want to have your say join the union today and join the fightback against the climate of fear.
In other news, too much to mention, our dedicated casework team have been having great success in representing members in allegations and other issues, we have a thriving and growing network of Regional Groups and reps throughout the UK, and are shortly going to launch our first training for FCW’s…empowering you to take control and safeguard your own working lives, your livelihoods and free yourselves up to concentrate on the most important thing…looking after the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people. A training that will be free to members, at good convenient times, delivered to suit you in your area. Non members will be able to attend at a fee, or if joining before hand will qualify for free.
None of this is possible without foster carer workers joining the union and getting organised in our local areas. The fightback starts with us in our own Local Authorities and IFAs, so I urge you all to join the union and, if you have a local Regional Group, get involved! If you don’t yet, start one!
If you are interested in organising a meeting in your local area or would like flyers to be sent to you email Lydia Hughes, our Branch Coordinator, on firstname.lastname@example.org
From your Chair,