Family Law News Edinburgh

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Fostered children denied a proper childhood

The failure of foster carers to make day-to-day decisions for the children in their care is denying these children a full and proper experience of childhood, the Fostering Network has warned.

The call comes ahead of the publication of 'Like Everyone Else', a new report from the charity based on a survey of more than 1,000 foster carers across the UK, which shows that too many carers are still not allowed to make basic decisions:

  • One in five cannot decide if a child can get their haircut.
  • A third cannot give permission for a child to stay over with a friend.
  • One in five cannot allow a child to go on a school trip.

Instead foster carers have to ask social workers who are invariably required to seek the approval of a senior manager who may not know the child or their foster carer. This leads to unnecessary delay. As a result fostered children often miss out, and in some cases can be bullied because the decision making process sets them apart from other children.

Despite all four UK governments acknowledging the problem and issuing guidelines stating that more authority should be given to foster carers, three out of five foster carers said the level of authority they have has stayed the same or got worse over the last two years.

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