Monday, 24 August 2009

Foster Caring a Job??

I notice on the Jobcentre Plus website, this job is listed. I don't know why, but it made me a bit uneasy and sick.

* Job Title
* FOSTER CARER
* STU/22201

Location
SUFFOLK, NORFOLK, ESSEX & CAMB

Hours
40 PER WEEK, OVER 24 HOURS, MON-SUN

Wage
£385 PER WEEK

Work Pattern
Days , Evenings , Nights , Weekends

Employer
XXXXXXXXX Fostering

Pension
No details held

Duration
PERMANENT ONLY

Description

XXXXXXXX Fostering is an independent fostering agency which provides foster care placements for children aged 0 - 16. We would like to hear from potential carers from all ethnic backgrounds to match children's cultural needs. We will provide: " An allowance of up to £385 tax free* per child per week to cover their needs. " Access to support 24/7 " Regular visits from an allocated Link-worker " Training arranged for all prospective carers, funded by XXXXXXXXX Fostering. Successful applicants are required to provide an enhanced disclosure. Disclosure expense will be met by employer.

A few things stand out about this:

First, this is indicative of a percentage of "jobs" advertised on the Jobseekers website: i.e. not really what you'd class as a job.

Second, it's indicative of the wider problems in society, that children are classed as a commodity, to be brokered by a company setting up fostering deals, with clients encouraged to view children as a means to a paycheck.

Third, How can the hours be limited to 40 a week, given the kids will be living with you? What do you do once the daily 8 hours is up, cast the kid out onto the streets?

Finally, how much taxpayer's money is being paid to the firm brokering these deals, when as far as I can see it they are superfluous? After all, isn't it up to local authorities to manage fostering? Another government job creation scheme in action then I assume.

I really must dream up a scheme where I can duplicate a public service, then bribe/sleep with someone in government so that they'll pay me to do their job for them.

1 comment:

  1. My wife and I are currently applying to be foster carers so I think I can offer some insight into this. Firstly I totally agree that the job is 24x7 and I assume the 40 hours a week is probably just a computer issue at the job centre (after all your probably not allowed to advertise 24x7 jobs under EU legislation).
    These agencies provide a service for more difficult to place children (they could have behaviour problems, disabilities, HIV, etc) which means the people willing to care for them are few and far between. Also remember this isn’t adoption. These people aren’t entering into this to keep the children or have a family. At most they can offer a sanctuary while hopefully their real parents can get back on track and take the children home, or in some cases, where that isn’t possible offer them a more long term home where they can feel safe and have some kind of childhood.
    Im personally doing this because I feel like I can make a difference to peoples lives. Its actually going to mean a large cut in money for us to do this (Im continuing to do my current job while my wife will be the primary carer) but I feel its worth it. You have to remember that the money they offer also covers the cost of everything a child needs (bearing in mind that most will arrive with nothing). I think someone once worked out that its about £1 an hour and that’s before you subtract clothes, meals, books, bedding and everything else a child needs).
    I guess you could argue that the councils could extend the services that are already there for easier to place children, but I really feel these agencies make a difference to children’s lives, that would otherwise been lost in the system.
    I think anyone who does this ‘for the money’ would find it far easier to earn more and work less in a 9-5 job…and after the 6+ months it takes to apply I think they would either realise that or be found out. Im not against the idea of advertising in a job centre because at the end of the day if your caring for one of these children then a prerequisite would be you didn’t have a job or would have to give it up.

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