“They’re an unsupported group of heroic people” – Jason Flemyng on why he supports a new bill

Jason Flemyng, a Hollywood actor, has recently shown his support for a new bill, which would bring foster carers basic employment rights.

The Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) Foster Care Workers Union set up this bill, with the hope to bring basic employment rights to foster carers in the UK.

Jason Flemyng, who has appeared in Hollywood productions such as X-Men: First Class and From Hell, said: “Some foster parents have put 50 to 100 children through their family homes as well as sometimes bringing up their own children.

“I think it is such a heroic and brilliant thing that these foster carers are doing.”

According to government statistics, currently 83,930 foster carers, in the UK, are classed as self-employed which means they are denied holiday pay, sick pay and pension – this bill will hopefully bring these employment rights to foster carers.

Jason continued: “Foster carers are a group of very under supported, heroic people.

“Research shows that children who grow up in foster homes, oppose to in a children’s care home, have a greater chance of success and chance of getting through their childhood, as they gain a modicum of security in their foster home.

“Foster carers do an amazing job and they therefore need as much protection and support that they can get, in order to care for foster children, in the best possible way.”

Foster care workers have come together on a national level in a way which has never been seen before. A new collective voice has emerged and carers around the UK have come to realise that their experiences are not localised pockets of bad practice, this is a national issue which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Jane Collins, Vice Chair of the IWGB Foster Carers Union, said: “Due to the total lack of basic rights and protection foster care workers are unable to whistle blow unsafe, negligent and harmful practice and they are unable to advocate effectively for the children in their care for fear of retribution.

Jane Collins, left, Vice Chair of the IWGB Foster Carers Union

“Bullying and witch hunts can be common in all professions, however professionals working with children, such as NHS staff, teachers and social workers, are covered by PIDA whistle blow protection and basic employment rights enabling them to seek recourse from detrimental treatment, at an employment tribunal.”

Foster care workers do not have this protection and Jane Collins, Vice Chair of the IWGB Foster Carers Union, has personally dealt with a number of cases where children have been removed from stable and loving foster homes without warning, in what can only be described as retaliatory acts against carers who have raised concerns.

Jane continues: “This legislation will protect children from distressing and harmful unethical removal and empower foster care workers to advocate on their behalf without the constant fear of losing their job and the children in their care.

“It will also improve recruitment and retention and ultimately save millions of pounds.”

Jane speaks more about why this bill is needed, below:

Jason added: “It’s like supporting teachers in school, it’s the exact same principle.

“Foster carers need protection and help to continue what they are doing. This bill will have an immediate, positive impact on the children in foster care.”

We are all incredibly grateful that Jason has chosen to support our call for legislative change and we thank him for his kind words acknowledging our vitally important role.

For more details about the bill and IWGB Foster Care Workers Union, visit:

https://www.fcwu.org.uk/

 

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