Foster carers as key workers

The Fostering Network believes foster carers should be treated as key workers because they are an essential part of the social care workforce supporting vulnerable children and young people. The following page details the current government positions around foster carers as key workers. You can find out more about how we are campaigning for this to change here

Here are the latest government positions on key workers in regard to foster carers: 


The Department for Education does not classify foster carers as key workers. However, they have made concessions which mean foster carers are eligible for personal protective equipment and priority testing.

Northern Ireland 

The status of foster carers as key workers in Northern Ireland is still unclear. We are seeking clarification from officials.  


Foster carers in Scotland are not currently considered key workers. 


Foster carers are entitled to a social care worker card which grants them key worker status. Fostering services managers should have received an email from Social Care Wales about how to get the card to unregistered social care workers. Social Care Wales’ website details further information about the social care worker cards

The Fostering Network is campaigning across the UK for foster carers to be recognised as key workers. Read more about our campaign here