The decision by the Scottish Government to exclude foster carers from a £500 bonus is yet another indication of foster carers in Scotland being treated as second class members of the social care workforce.
The pro-rata bonus will benefit over 300,000 NHS and social care workers including residential child care staff, children's social workers and staff who have had to shield, or who have since retired.
It will not, however, include Scotland's 4,000+ foster carers who have been caring for children since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak and who have been obliged to mix with multiple households during this pandemic to ensure all children in their care are able to maintain relationships with their birth families. Many foster carers have done this while sacrificing time with their own family and friends due to the rule of six restricting them to their larger household.
Foster carers have also had to rise to the challenge of home educating children and young people, as well as adapting to facilitate family time virtually from their own home when face to face meetings haven’t been possible.
And alongside all of this, foster carers continue to provide safe, stable and loving environments for children and young people to thrive.
Foster carers in Scotland have been on the frontline of this pandemic from the moment it started. Many have looked after children from covid positive households while their parents recover.
Throughout the pandemic foster carers have supported and nurtured the children in their care 24 hours a day. And due to the pandemic, they have done this without access to any time off.
They have allayed the fears of confused teenagers on exam results day. They have reassured children that their relatives will be ok throughout this health emergency and they have done this while experiencing the same pressures, the same uncertainty and the same restrictions as the rest of the population.
But still they have not received any recognition from their government for the excellent job they are doing.