Saturday 24 November 2012

UKIP's Foster Care "Scandal"

There's a stench in the air, the stench of opportunism. Rotherham Borough Council's decision to remove foster kids from a couple on the grounds they are UKIP members has caused something of a stir this morning. Farage has been dribbling his outrage over the airwaves, describing it as "typical of the bigotry you get from the Labour Party and Labour-controlled councils." Gove has now waded in and said there will be an investigation on top of one hastily announced by the Borough Council itself.

You could be forgiven for thinking there's a by-election on.

Let's get the established facts out of the way first. The children, who are from BME backgrounds, were apparently removed because the head of the council's Children and Young People's Services, Joyce Thacker, felt obligated *by the law* to ensure their cultural and "ethnic needs" were met. While not believing UKIP are a racist party, their forthright views on immigration and multiculturalism were suspect enough for her to take action.

While it would be tempting to read this through the filter of authoritarian do-gooding - a view UKIP are certainly pushing - the decision taken by Thacker and her department has to be seen in the context we find ourselves.

These last ten years there has been a drip-drip of high profile child protection scandals. Baby P. Victoria Climbie. Khyra Ishaq. Each of these appalling cases showed up frightening failings in social services departments, which prompted press attacks on the social work profession generally and changes to the law. And, in case you hadn't noticed, there is a particularly febrile atmosphere in Britain right now thanks to Jimmy Savile's exposure as a serial child sex offender and the subsequent fall out.

It was a case of Rotherham CYPS being damned if they did act. And damned if they didn't. Surely it is right and proper for the inquiries to now take their course. After all, most people pontificating on this now aren't child care professionals, least of all Gove, Farage, and the permanently outraged of Twitterland.


doxRaven said...

Rubbish, these guys are child care professional in name only, they are playing political games with children. They thought they could get away with it, but this blatant discrimination on political grounds cannot and will not stand.

Chris said...

I agree with you that they are damned if they don't and damned if they do. I also think we have many people speaking out of ignorance of all the facts and that the people with the experience will know better than morons and opportunists how best to deal with these issues.

Now here comes the but, and you may need your lawyers for this bit. I sat in a meeting with Joyce Thacker, that so called custodian of the law and childrens needs, in which she asked how we could get round the law in withdrawing home to school transport from vulnerable children.

Yes the well paid Strategic Director of Children and Young People's services was activley trying to reduce services by subvertig the law. These people care about one thing, themselves.

Phil said...

I know empathy is difficult for people like you, "doxRaven", but try and put yourselves in the shoes of the social services department for a moment.

Child care failings, social services, and child sex abuse are at the forefront of everyone's minds at the moment. On the other side of the Pennines in Rochdale we have seen the exposure of child sex rings who were allowed to operate partly because of systemic social services failings.

Into this atmosphere comes a tip off that two of your foster carers are UKIP supporters. There's nothing to suggest they're racist or anything but capable of looking after children. However, the kids temporarily in their care are non-white and are from overseas.

Also, bear in mind the Prime Minister himself has branded UKIP "closet racists" (an opinion he did not retract when given the opportunity to do so yesterday), and that the legislation is very clear concerning the cultural needs of children from different ethnicities.

What would you do?

Phil said...

I've got plenty of experience dealing with council officers Chris, and I've come across more than a few slippery customers. While I do believe officers need to get on with their jobs, members need support in the effective scrutiny of the things they do.

Gary Elsby said...

Come along Phil.

We'll be putting yellow stars on UKip members and supporters next.

I don't agree with them at all on Europe and choose to disagree with them on most things on immigration, but I draw the line on hostility to bringing up kids.

Maybe we should go one better and round up BNP children?

Reports suggest that the foster parents did everything they could to facilitate the needs of the children and this has been ignored.

The question I ask, is why Rotherham?
We need to go beyond fostering and take a closer look.

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest that Rotherham is the news for political party shenannigans making our TV screens.

Phil said...

Good to see you back, Gary. It was getting quiet around these parts without your lightening things up.

All I'm going to say is look at the post again and read up on the meaning of 'context'.

Gary Elsby said...

I know some lunatic people who should never be allowed acces to guns near immigrants.
In my opinion, they have lunatic kids (now grown men and women) who should be curfewed.
Those 'kids' hold down some of the best(public)jobs I know and all within one family.
Everyone is a scrounger, bar them.
Their combined political views frighten me.

They all earn £30k+ and their children want for nothing (as they didn't) and do well at school.
Good at sport too.

It would frighten me to think they could foster, but the truth is they would look after children very well and deep down I know it.

Wanting a EU referendum or caps on immigration (Ed copied my 2010 GE leaflet) doesn't compute and this is why UKip score heavily today on this issue.

Phil said...

Are you certain EdM picked up one of your leaflets and thought "cor blimey, I'll have that"?

Gary Elsby said...

No he didn't Phil.
It was a sheer coincidence that I was two years ahead of his time.
I wanted more though with a million+ new homes built creating 100,000s of new jobs as a kickstart to the economy (Tris talked of jobs, I talked of the economy. I was correct).
You see Phil, I was called a Nazi for suggesting a cap on immigration in 2010.
I was called a Nazi by a Labour member to which I replied: "You just aren't listening".

Labour lost the election.

Phil said...

Gary, you weren't the only person arguing for those things in Labour circles two or more years ago.

Gary Elsby said...

Phil, I actually put it out in an election and put it through 70,000 letterboxes.

Not a single Labour member anywhere (in the UK?) did similar.

Go back to my Labour candidacy days with a Mayor running Stoke and I said, voted, wrote and delivered my verdict on an unjustifiable budget that he withdrew (he was later arrested).

I am the balck sheep Phil because I am a socialist who actually thought about the consequences before they happened.

In 2010, the official reason I was disallowed any voice in public by Labour was that I was "anti Mayor".

That is not a legitimate reason for people I had never seen, enter Stoke and remove me from the front line. They did know I was clever enough to offer alternatives to their anti working class (Labour?)nonsense.
We won all the arguments then and we'd bury them now.

The Tris stunt is too daft to even write about but the proof is there for you to se for yourself.
If ever a MP was an unloved MP, it is Tris.

Why do you think this is?
Note he supports everything Rob Flello, nothing Joan Whalley and he defends all vital services in Stoke South.
His close without a wimper.
No fight, no voice, no support, nothing.
No members.

Phil said...

This contribution is so clueless I don't know where to begin. So I won't bother.

Gary Elsby said...

The clue is 500 members walk out of Stoke Labour and you walk in.

I know why 500 members have walked out.

You on the other hand, suggest that the only way to change things is by joining.

You can't prove any of that as Rotherham (100 walked out on the parachute) also proves.

If you believe that the true voice of Stoke-on-Trent is best heard by implanted voices from London, then you are just plain wrong.