ENGLAND – Foster carers call for reforms to tackle false allegations

The Department for Education has come under fire for failing to improve support for foster carers who have been subjected to false or malicious allegations.

Baby and adult

The Norfolk Foster Care Association says foster carers are often treated unfairly.

The Norfolk Foster Care Association has accused the government of “skirting around the edges” with current proposals for reforming the system, claiming that the fear of false allegations is driving people away from fostering.

In a letter to the Education Secretary Michael Gove, Raymond Bewry, chair of the Norfolk Foster Care Association, said children that are removed from foster carers after allegations have been made are not returned, even when allegations are proved to be unfounded.

The association is calling for foster carers to be entitled to a “fair trial” and wants government to better monitor the way that local authorities deal with allegations.

“It is clearly important that this needs to be addressed if responsible people are to be encouraged into fostering, and to continue as foster carers,” the letter said.

“If you want to recruit people you need to offer them the right protection and necessary support.”

Bewry told CYP Now that the government’s reform programme must “take the bull by the horns and tackle the real issues and stop skirting around the edges”.

The government has already pledged to do more to attract and retain foster carers.

In a letter to foster carers last month, children’s minister Edward Timpson outlined several areas of work that will be conducted over the coming year.

These include recruitment and retention, assessment and approval, delegation of authority, providing better support, increasing the status, security and stability of long-term foster care, and providing better training.

The DfE has been contacted for a response.

 

SOURCE: Children & Young People Now

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