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New research finds that foster carers who have faced unproven allegations of abuse from the children they are looking after often have little support afterwards.

Foster carers facing allegations of abuse 'need better support' Stavchansky Yakov
Foster carers facing allegations of abuse 'need better support'

Photo: www.shutterstock.com 

The study drew on 190 records of unproven allegations against foster carers from all over England. It found that just over half (55%) of foster carers subjected to an unproven abuse allegation by the child were offered support on the day they learnt about the claim – usually from the relevant local authority, or fostering companies or charities involved. In terms of independent support (from other organisations set up to help carers), 40% of carers said they had not received any support at all following the allegation. The study also finds that only 23% of carers in the sample had received any specific training beforehand about how to deal with allegations, despite the publication of the government’s National Minimum Standards for fostering services. These stipulate that foster parents should receive ‘relevant support services’ and that such investigations should provide effective protection for the child, and at the same time support the person who is the subject of the allegation.

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