Foster carers are pledging cash on a chat forum website in an
attempt to bring foster care under employment law,
writes Shirley Kumar.
Many have pledged around £50 each with a view to getting a
ruling in the European courts.
The money will initially pay for a consultation so that a
barrister can produce a written report to determine the position of
foster carers in relation to the law and European directives. A
meeting, organised by the Welsh Foster Care Forum, has been set-up
with solicitor Mick Antoniw next month.
Forum vice chairman Rhys Hughes said aim was to prevent local
authorities and agencies being able to deregister foster carers and
take away their income “on a whim”.
Under employment law, foster carers who were unfairly treated
would be able to take local authorities and agencies to a
Councils and agencies that failed to prove allegations through
criminal or civil courts could be threatened with “forcing
carers out the back door” if they chose not to provide them
with foster children.
However, chief executive of Baaf Adoption and Fostering Felicity
Collier warned that, while it was vitally important for foster
carers to be well supported if they faced allegations, “we
must never forget the importance of protecting children”.
“If, on the balance of probabilities, it is considered
children’s needs are not being adequately met by carers, then
deregistration has to be possible,” Collier said.
Baaf and the Fostering Network are calling for a £108 per
week allowance for the maintenance of children placed with local
authority foster carers to be included in the Children Bill to
combat the shortfall in carers.
To join the web forum, go to firstname.lastname@example.org