Foster carers are currently not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay due to our self-employed status. The FCW Branch of the IWGB have been campaigning heavily since the start of the pandemic for SSP to be extended to foster carers. See details of our campaign here.
The vast majority of LAs and IFAs have no sick pay policy for foster carers. Therefore we would recommend the following to our members:
- Make your social worker aware of any underlaying health conditions you have which make you vulnerable or require you to shield. Ask for this to be considered in any discussions about new placements or current placements which could result in a risk to you or your household.
- Ask your LA/IFA what support (financial and practical) they will provide if you were to become too ill to continue fostering. The provision of a retainer for a number of weeks is an option some LAs have already agreed to, keeping in mind serious cases of Covid-19 can take several weeks to recover from.
- Include support in the case of illness or death of you or anyone in your household as a result of Covid 19 contracted whilst fulfilling fostering responsibilities in any written agreements you make with regards to contact or agreeing to new placements.