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Foster parent fights for workers rights

A Hampshire foster carer is battling to be recognised as a worker, which could have implications for tens of thousands of foster carers nationwide.

If successful she may receive benefits, such as paid leave and improved legal status.

Sarah Anderson, has fostered dozens of children over the last decade on behalf of Hampshire County Council.

Ms Anderson said: “How can they say we are just normal parents? We’re not and that’s not all we offer. We are [a] professionialised, specialist, skilled workforce but also unionised.”

Hampshire County Council has responded by saying that her legal challenge has not yet been submitted and therefore it is too early for them to comment.

The local authority has said the law is clear that foster carers are not workers but Sarah who is chairwoman of a foster carers union believes that it is due to the training they receive and the extent to which the current foster carer system is exhausted authorities must recognise foster parents are in fact workers.

When the case has been lodged it will be put before a tribunal panel but that’s likely to be a few months away.

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