Emma’s fostering blog
Managers and directors
In the news and all over social media fostering is being discussed, and it’s about time.
I’m pleased about this, I have been an active foster carer for many years and seen many changes to the service, but for foster carers we just see more and more put on us. The expectations of policy and the high turnover of staff, and we just carry on the best we can.
I think it is important to recognise that there are many good social workers and managers out there who do have the foster carers and children’s best interests at heart. The main problems are that foster carers don’t have a transportable form F, an independent complaints procedure, workers’ rights or benefits.
For many years the system has abused our vulnerability and lack of employment status and now foster carers are fighting back and have joined IWGB union, as they are fighting for exactly this. Fostering needs to be about a mutually beneficial working environment between all parties and not alienating us from the people best placed to support us.
We need to get to the point where Local Authority and Independent Fostering agencies recognise the benefits to the quality of the service; carer retention, and that poor practice and bullying are not acceptable, as in any other work. If this was the case I don’t believe we would see so many superb social workers and carers leaving because they are unhappy about how things are, and it would be easier to recruit new foster carers, as we know happy foster carers spread the word.
The foster care system is under significant pressure, some of the most vulnerable young people in society are being failed by a system which doesn’t meet their needs, foster children currently face a lottery of care, the prospect of frequent moves from one home to another and even of separation from their siblings.
Services that foster carers could once tap into have all gone.
I think we all agree the system needs more money but until the government act on this, we have to carry on with what we have for the sake of the children. There are things that can be done now to ease the burden on foster carers; by having managers and directors who care and remember why they came into the job in the first place, and who want to make a difference to their work force under very difficult times.
Person centred, who actually have listening skills and give support and value their staff, so they can support the many professional foster carers who do an incredibly difficult but rewarding job.
My thoughts are Foster carers are providing an invaluable service for thousands of young people, but sadly we are not getting enough support. I want to be recognised and respected as a professional foster carer with safeguards and get on with doing the job I love.
Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!