Abuse inquiries too long, says Tapsfield

Fostering services must be given strict timescales to investigate allegations of abuse against carers, according to a charity boss.

In a letter to children’s minister Beverley Hughes, Fostering Network chief executive Robert Tapsfield also called for foster carers to continue to receive their full fee while allegations were investigated.

Tapsfield said foster carers – unlike teachers, social workers or residential workers – lost their income if they were prevented from fostering until the conclusion of an investigation, which often took longer than six months. Foster carers also had no recourse to an independent appeal, he added.

Tapsfield called on Hughes to ensure foster carers had access to an independent appeal and recommended they be registered with the General Social Care Council, which would provide them with an appeal mechanism.

He added: “The stress and strain on a foster family that is the subject of an allegation is enormous, and we must support people who will often be entirely innocent.”

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