Foster carers as child care professionals Blog.
Foster carers are child care experts, who operate as co-professionals within a team that is responsible for the care of vulnerable young people.
Foster carers are trained, supervised and accountable just like any other child care professional. Unfortunately, foster carers are too often not treated as professionals. This means that their expertise and knowledge are often ignored. This can lead to poor-outcomes for the foster child.
More needs to be done by agencies and the government to further the professional status of foster carers. Fostering services do not have sufficient processes in place for issues such as allegations, training and pay. This means that foster carers are often unclear as to what the due process should be in certain situations. This would not happen to other child care professionals and should not happen to foster carers.
Support for foster carers should be increased. All fostering agencies and local councils should provide a dedicated full-time support service for foster carers.
Access to respite support should also be provided for all foster carers. A clear development and learning framework should be made standard practise. Other child care professionals should also be given training to understand the role and importance of foster carers within the system.
Government should also review the level of national minimum fostering allowances. The administration of allowance payments should be transparent, so that all foster carers know what they are entitled to.