By Lewis Kemp
‘REAL progress is being made’ in establishing the first ever trade union for foster care workers according to Jo Anderson from the Scottish branch.
Jo attended the first meeting in Westminster in September where history was made and a union was unanimously formed.
Speaking to uwsnewsroom on Wednesday (Dec 7) she believed that although it was still early days, massive steps had been taken.
Jo said: “I think just having a collective voice will make a huge difference to foster carers because at the moment, people are very wary of speaking out.
“If you speak out as an individual it’s easy to be targeted but I think if people have a collective voice they will have protection.
“It’s also easier to approach government and other elected MPs as a collective as opposed to individuals.”
Individual foster carers have joined unions in the past, but this is the first time a group has been formed made up entirely of foster carers.
In the past fostering was regarded as something done out of the goodness of people’s hearts but now the profession is starting to receive the same status of other areas such as Social Work and Nursing.
Jo explained: “You can’t pay the bills on love alone.
“It’s a job that you do individually in your own home so it’s not as easy to meet fellow colleagues.
“Also the fact we’re self employed and have arrangements with individual organisations makes it difficult to work together to make things happen.”