Outrage over major changes for Calderdale’s foster carers

Sunshine on Halifax Town Hall, with blue sky above.
Sunshine on Halifax Town Hall, with blue sky above.

GMB, the trade union that represents foster carers in Calderdale, will demonstrate outside Halifax Town Hall this week when the Council’s full cabinet meet to ‘rubber-stamp detrimental changes’ to the terms and conditions of foster carers across Calderdale.

The changes that will be discussed at the full Council meeting will mean foster carers having to work to a zero hours’ contract offering little or no financial security between child placements and a reduction to their annual leave entitlement according to union leaders.

Rachel Harrison, organiser for foster carers at GMB said Calderdale Council has repeatedly expressed that these proposals are essential in order for them to be able to recruit new foster carers, but a recent survey of UK foster carers carried out by GMB has highlighted increasing levels of insecurity and dissatisfaction at the way local authorities manage their fostering service.

“We are calling on Calderdale Councillors to support foster carers at the council meeting on the 30th November and to reject these proposals. The Government has recognised that the fostering system needs to change and has commissioned an inquiry into fostering.”

“We would request that Calderdale Council put these proposals on hold, at least until the outcome of this inquiry.

“Any changes to be made should be done with full and meaningful consultation with existing foster carers.

“They should be listened to seriously. They have the best interests of the children at heart; happy foster carers are the best recruitment tool that any council could wish for.”