The local papers frequently carry appeals for foster parents. Urgently needed, it seems. Why should we suddenly require so many foster parents? Could this be anything to do with the New Working Practices introduced by our caring SS? If our social workers are following orders which state: If in doubt – report, then workers involved and trained in this scheme(including teachers and others) will undoubtedly be needlessly reporting families rather than risk being accused of negligence.

This is where things get murky. We don’t know how the working practices function because the Children Bill was abandoned. We have nothing to refer to. This is not laid down by statute. If you recall the working practices were slipped in the back door. Controlled by whom or what?

We are told that families who have been targeted by these measures feel compliance is the best reaction as they fear that antagonism could result in their losing their children forever. Could this be why we require so many foster carers?

We are told that prospective foster carers should not assume that age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs etc would automatically exclude their application. We  assume that these people will undergo rigorous checks. Just as others have undergone checks in the past. I’m thinking of fairly recent cases of paedophilia which have involved those in the field of education. These criminals would have been police checked but obviously these checks are not a one hundred per cent guarantee.

We can assume that most foster carers are indeed kindly, caring people. However, those with certain inclinations would also undoubtedly feel drawn to this calling too. How can we be sure that children are not removed from families only to be abused by a foster carer?

Channel Four has looked into this issue and discovered that  the situation is not adequately regulated which can mean that it is impossible to take action against the authortiy in question. Can Mr Robertshaw assure us that his department has looked into this issue?


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