More than one in five foster carers have considered quitting because of the coronavirus pandemic, an ITV News survey has revealed.
Most of the 1,022 foster carers who participated in the ITV News survey said they feel support from government during the Covid-19 crisis has been “inadequate”.
Their answers shed light on the heavy toll lockdown has taken on their lives as they care for Britain’s most vulnerable children.
The survey showed:
- 22% of foster carers have considered quitting fostering altogether because of the pandemic
- 27% feel reluctant or unable to foster due to fears of infection from Covid-19
- 55% have reported a decline in their mental health
- 68% feel they’ve had inadequate support from the government
With 66% of foster carers in England over the age of 50, many are vulnerable to Covid-19.
The survey shows that over one in four feel reluctant or unable to foster a child due to health fears.
This includes 68 year-old Janet Tansley, who has looked after over 150 foster children over 35 years – she recently handed in her notice because of fears over her safety.
“If I caught Covid, I wouldn’t have stood a chance, because I’m an insulin dependent diabetic.”
Janet asked if she could perform meetings between her foster child and its birth parents virtually, but after she was told she had to attend these meetings in person, Janet decided it was time to end her fostering career.
“I feel let down, very let down. It was a small thing for them to offer.
“After 35 years I wanted to finish my career on a high. I feel it’s really sad – that’s because I haven’t been given the support that I asked for, I’ve had to go”.
Source: ITV News