A decision has been made to uphold a ruling in a tribunal case between foster carers James and Christine Johnstone and Glasgow City Council, in which the Johnstones were judged to be employees of the council due to the specific nature of the working arrangement.
Following the decision, Kevin Williams, chief executive of The Fostering Network, said: ‘Even though this judgement does not set a precedent for all foster carers, we will continue to call for foster carers to be given the status, respect, training, support and remuneration that they deserve and require in order to look after the children in their care. This is not only crucial for the recruitment and retention of foster carers but, equally importantly, for the tens of thousands of children who are fostered every day.
‘In our recent State of the Nation’s Foster Care survey only 44 per cent described out of hours support as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ and over 40 per cent did not have an agreed training plan for the next year. The Fostering Network has long campaigned for change in these and other areas – such as the need for foster carers to be covered by whistleblowing legislation.
‘We look forward to working with all those involved in the lives of fostered children to ensure the independent care review in Scotland delivers on the ambitious plan laid out in its findings published earlier this year and we urge the Westminster Government to include fostering in its care review in England.
‘The onus now is on all four UK governments to ensure that foster carers who are looking after children on their behalf are given every opportunity and resource to be able to do this to the highest level.’