John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Friday, January 26, 2007
  Rape in Foster Care in Cornwall
The link (which may go away) is to a story from Cornwall.

The key quotes are:
"Social services took me from a bad place with my mother to somewhere which was even worse," she said. "I just wanted to die there. I just hated it. I just cried and cried but I was just told that I had emotional problems.
and
"This is clearly a very concerning and thankfully an isolated incident, which does not reflect the immense amount of good work and high quality care that is provided by almost 500 carers within the Cornwall County Council Foster Care and Short Break Service, who look after children from the county during approximately 12,000 placements that are made each year," said a council statement.

It is important to remember that Foster Parents are normally very good people. This is an exceptional, but sadly not unique incident.

The key point is that if too many children are taken into care then the pressures on the system grow so that marginal carers are used when if there was not the pressure they would not be used.

It is not always an improvement for the child to be taken into care and frequently does a lot of harm. There should be more care taken about the decision.

I am now monitoring a small number of cases as they go through the system. It is becoming easier to see where things are going wrong. This is a difficult policy area because the issues are complex and sensitive. However, the lack of a rational approach to it is creating a substantial amount of misery.

The link below is another story about abusive foster parents being imprisoned.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=429564&in_page_id=1770

From that story there is the following reference:
The council spokesman claimed there were now more stringent measures in place for ensuring the safety of children.

Yet as recently as 2001 it was criticised when the stepmother of a six-year-old girl was jailed for life for beating and torturing her to death.

Norfolk social workers had been repeatedly warned Lauren Wright was in danger but did nothing.

Frequently social workers are busy with cases where really they should not be involved. That reduces the time available for cases where they should be involved.
 
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