John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
  "In Care" is not always safe for children
The link is to a BBC story about a Foster Carer being convicted of abusing children in her care in Bristol. This continued to 2005 so it cannot be claimed that the procedures have been improved to prevent this from happening.

What worries me is that I have heard of the death of a child in foster care in the North West. On approaching the local authority, however, they refuse to say anything. I am worried that foster carers are getting overloaded as well.

Many of the prosecutions that ensure are where the victims are now adults. It worries me the number of stories I hear from children in care whose views are not taken into account by the system.

I must stress that the vast majority of foster carers do a good job caring for children. However, there are also material numbers that abuse children. If fewer children were taken into care in the first instance then there would be less of a need to use the more marginal carers.

It is, however, now clear to me that the substance of the problem lies in the Family Courts themselves. The Local Authorities (Childrens Services) defend the system by saying decisions are made in the Family Courts. However, the Family Courts rely on the opinion of Childrens Services and to a lesser extent CAFCASS.

Childrens Services are conflicted by being driven to increase adoptions. Legally that should mean that their opinion is discounted. It is, however, not discounted and hence any care proceedings that lead towards forced adoption are automatically in contravention of the Article 6 right to a fair trial. This also applies to aspects of care proceedings that drive in that direction.
 
Comments:
Keep up the good work.

Our care system is a disgrace and we are too willing to let children be taken into care.
 
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