There is a national crisis in the recruitment of foster carers and the way to change this is by offering job security says GMB.
A recent survey of UK foster carers carried out by GMB has highlighted increasing levels of insecurity and dissatisfaction at the way local authorities manage their fostering service.
GMB, the union for foster carers, can reveal that more than 90% of those surveyed have called for greater job security and employment rights. Other areas of concern that have been flagged up by foster carers include poor organisation and a general lack of respect.
As part of the consultation with foster carers, GMB will be submitting evidence to the Education Committee inquiry into fostering which will look at a number of fostering issues including the recruitment and retention of foster carers. GMB will also make a written submission on behalf of foster cares on the proposed changes to the Children and Social Work Bill.
Rachel Harrison, organiser for foster carers at the GMB said:
“Foster Carers are seen by some as an easy target and a way of making cuts by some local authorities. These are isolated individuals, working in their own homes, discouraged from talking to other foster carers, with no employment rights or entitlements to trade union representation.
“There is a national crisis in the recruitment of foster carers. The way to change this is by offering job security. How can someone give up secure paid employment to become a foster carer, when it offers no income security, employment rights or respect as a professional?
“Foster carers right across the country are becoming unionised. They have turned to GMB and we have successfully challenged local authorities, ensuring our members are properly consulted and negotiated with on changes affecting them and also the children they care for.”
Rachel Harrison on 07539 061702, Caroline Jones on 07850 325283 or 0345 337 7777 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or firstname.lastname@example.org