Sign and share to help right a massive wrong done to vital foster-carers

Unless you are one, it’s unlikely you have much grasp of the demands and stresses placed on a group of people who provide one of our society’s most essential services: foster-carers.

It’s also unlikely you will be aware that foster-carers have none of the protections afforded to people in ‘normal’ employment: no holiday pay, sick pay, access to pension schemes or employment tribunals – just the burdens and responsibilities that come with caring, in many cases, for some of our most challenging children and young people.


A petition to right that wrong has been launched by the Foster Care Workers Union to raise awareness of and rectify the injustice.

A fostering activist told the SKWAWKBOX:

In the UK, fostering gained legal standing in 1926. But while dependence on the fostering resource has increased substantially, the placements in children’s homes have diminished.

The vast majority of ‘looked-after children’ (LAC) – approximately 75% – are fostered and Local Authorities (LA) collectively spend £1.7 billion in 2016-17 providing this service.

On 31 March 2017 53,420 LAC were placed with foster carers (FC) and there were approximately 78,000 placements (Education Committee, First Report, 2017-2019).

About 67%, (29,720) fostering households were enlisted with LA and the remaining 14,595 fostering households were registered with independent agencies (Narey & Owers, 2018).

Children are being taken into care in record numbers. However, it is estimated that there is a currently a UK wide shortage of over 7,000 FC (Fostering Network, 2018).

Approximately 65% of the LAC have suffered a single form or mixed categories of abuse (Narey & Owers, 2018). Studies of LAC have reliably discovered high presentations of psychosocial maladjustment and emotional/behavioral disorders (Ottaway & Selwyn, 2017). Considering the experiences of LAC, it is not surprising that FC can be a stressful, demanding hugely complex role.

The people who provide this service are hugely important to the young people they care for and to our society – but society is not looking after them.

Please sign and share this vital petition to help them.

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  1. Foster carers receive a basic £450 a week tax free for each child which increases with age or if the child is disabled or has issues,this figure does not include expenses or free holidays . I would suggest that they declare their earnings so they pay tax and become ’employed’ so they can benefit from employment law. In contrast to foster carers we have unpaid family Carers who often do the same work for £64.60 a week and save the councils and Government over 28 billion pounds a year. Until family carers are on par with the foster rate I will not be supporting this petition

    1. £450 tax free equates to what – about £550 or £28600 per annum wage before tax/NI?
      I suspect there are families with two adults working and more than one child who manage on less.
      I agree with you and The Toffee and I believe there are others in greater need.
      ‘From each according to her ability, to each according to her needs’ is still our ambition isn’t it?

  2. I’m caring for a family member and I agree with @Does your carer take sugar, who makes an excellent point…But I’ve signed all the same. I’d rather see children within a family environment than in an institutionalised one. And the same goes for people with family members in need of care.

    The whole (social) care system needs a massive overhaul. My problem is, I’d be really stuck on where to start. It seems to me that prioritizing (for example) elderly care, would discriminate against all other sectors.

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