Fair deal for Glasgow foster carers

In Glasgow foster carers are coming together to fight for a fairer deal for foster carers and the young people we look after.

Glasgow’s system of foster care is in crisis. A decade-long pay freeze is forcing foster carers out of fostering altogether, meaning Glasgow City Council has to rely on hugely expensive private fostering agencies to plug the gaps. This is a system failing children in care, failing foster parents who are exhausted and bankrupted, and failing the people of Glasgow.

Foster carers in Glasgow have come together to end the crisis in Glasgow’s foster care system. They are campaigning on the following common sense proposals to alleviate the worst elements of the crisis.

Our demands are:

  • Uplift of the fostering allowances by 23.12% to bring it in line with inflation since 2012/13, and provide an annual increase to the fostering allowance in line with inflation going forward;
  • The implementation of the Mockingbird programme. The Mockingbird programme prioritises the needs of looked after children through creating a network of consistent and trusted carers who can provide respite and support for foster care workers.
  • Access to 5 paid (carer's fees only) compassionate leave days;
  • Over-payments only be recouped via foster carers fees and not child’s allowance;
  • Trade union recognition so foster carers can collectively advocate for their own pay and conditions in the future. A 2021 legal ruling won by the IWGB means that foster carers now have the right to unionise.

We are calling on Glasgow to end the devastating 10 year freeze to child allowances. The freeze to child allowances equates to 23.12% cut leaving many carers struggling to subsidise the costs themselves. This is on top of foster carers fees being frozen since 2009.

Experienced and skilled foster carers are being driven out of the system and the council is being forced to use expensive private fostering agencies to plug the gaps. Foster carers also need improved support through the implementation of the Mockingbird programme, and access to paid compassionate leave.

Investment would improve quality of care and outcomes for young people while saving public money, alleviating pressure on other public services, and boosting Glasgow’s local economy. Sufficient investment across Scotland could reduce public costs by £875 million per year.

February 2022 update - huge win!

On Thursday 17 February, after months of campaigning, the IWGB won a 10% increase to Glasgow's foster carer child allowance pay, bringing an end to the 10-year freeze. That means £2 million more for Glasgow’s carers and most vulnerable children.

The council has also committed to increasing the allowance with inflation and to beginning the process of entering the UK's first union recognition agreement between foster carers and their local authority. It's a huge step toward the 24% increase we need and a fairer foster care system for all.

The win in Glasgow has shown that by coming together and acting as a collective, foster carers can win change! They knocked on doors, protested and lobbied to win this. Foster carers across the UK are now looking to Glasgow’s foster carers who have shown that by acting as a union they can use their collective power to force the council to listen to them.

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