During the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, FosterTalk has become aware of the additional pressures that foster carers are having to face. They have been asked to travel for contact and introductions, they have received mixed messages about whether or not looked after children could go to school, they have faced financial hardship while shielding or being unable to accept placements or carry out respite care for children, they have not qualified for any of the financial support offered to other self- employed people and despite their clear position as frontline social care workers, have not been recognised as “key workers”.
Providing independent support to foster carers gives us a unique insight into the challenges facing them in the course of their work caring for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society. Through our work we seek to raise the profile of foster carers as key members of the children’s social care workforce and strive to ensure that they receive the recognition and support that they deserve.
Prior to drafting this submission, we asked our members what they would like us to tell the committee; our submission is based on the responses we received.