The recent decision by the local authority in Rotherham to remove children from the care of foster carers who were members of UKIP raises a number of concerns about what happens to children when they cannot be placed or remain in the care of their parents.
In the first place the Children Act 1989 makes it clear that the welfare of the children in such cases is the paramount consideration.
What is also clear is that the focus must be on the welfare needs of the particular children concerned and thus drawing general conclusions from particular instances is often unhelpful. This can lead to the dramatic newspaper headlines recently seen around this matter.
What would be worrying is if potential foster carers are put off coming forward because of situations like this. There is a balance to be struck and given the shortage of foster carers social services are often faced with situations where an “ideal” foster family placement cannot be found for a child who cannot remain with his or her family. This is particularly so when considering children from ethnic minority backgrounds or with some level of disability.
In this case we are told that the quality of care offered by the foster carers was not an issue. The question then is how far do we as a society go to address other aspects of the children’s lives in such difficult situations. One cannot help but be left with a feeling that in many instances we get left with having to find the “least worst option” for children.
Anyone with concerns about cases involving children is encouraged to seek advice and assistance from a solicitor specialising in this area of law. At Wrigley Claydon we have solicitors who are members of the Law Society’s family law panel and also the children panel. These accreditation schemes recognise the experience and expertise of the solicitors in this area of law.
For further help please call our family department on 0161 624 6811
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