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Better Conditions For Foster Carers

Thursday, January 11, 2018

GMB BACKS SELECT COMMITTEE’S RALLYING CALL TO IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR FOSTER CARERS

Foster carers' union welcomes Education Committee's backing for key recommendations as step forward for recognition of fostering.

GMB, the union for foster carers, has welcomed a new report which was presented by the Education Select Committee Chair to Parliament today, calling for a fundamental review of the whole care system to ensure children get the support they need.

The union has appeared before the select committee as part of its inquiry, arguing for greater support and recognition for foster carers.

The report comes on the back of GMB scoring a key victory in its 'Fostering Fairness' campaign, winning a Government commitment to extend 30 hours of free childcare to foster carers – a call also backed by the Committee of MPs [1].

The Committee backs GMB’s push to consider whether self-employment is the correct status for foster carers, review taxation rules and take steps to boost minimum allowances so they keep pace with the cost of living.

GMB welcomed the Committee’s additional proposal for training and development through a national college for foster carers as a step forward for greater professional recognition and improving the quality of care.

The union backs the report's call for local authorities to be provided with the resources they need to ensure financial considerations do not take precedence in fostering access.

Rachel Harrison, GMB Lead Organiser for Foster Carers said:

“The report is a welcome step forward for the professional recognition of foster care.

"It's an acknowledgement of the vital work done every day to support children and give them the care they need.

“The arrangements for foster care must also foster fairness for those working and caring on the front line and these recommendations now need to be taken on by ministers.

“It’s high time that fostering arrangements were reviewed, including employment status, taxation rules and a boost to minimum allowances to make sure they keep pace with the spiralling cost of living.

"It’s good news for foster carers that the Committee has recognised this call from GMB in today's report.

“GMB also welcomes the Committee's call for a national college for foster carers as a step forward for greater professional recognition and improving the quality of care.

“We can’t achieve the steep change we need for foster care without the right funding and support.

"The Committee's focus on vital Staying Put funding and call for local authorities to have the resources they need to ensure access to fostering support is not dependent on financial circumstances is to be warmly welcomed."

ENDS

Contact: GMB Press office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

Notes to editors

[1] https://twitter.com/GMB_union/status/943174499117256704

Media information from the Education Select Committee can be obtained from Gary Calder calderg@parliament.uk / 020 7219 7556 or Oliver Florence florenceo@parliament.uk / 07720 202 985

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