Rotherham council takes away foster children because parents were UKIP members

(41 Posts)
longfingernails Sat 24-Nov-12 10:21:48
tiggytape Sat 24-Nov-12 10:36:40

I agree - totally, totally outrageous. UKIP isn't everyone's cup of tea but it is a mainstream and legal political party. And advocating tighter immigration controls or looser formal toes to other countries is not at all the same thing as being a racist. Some of the strongest opponents of open immigration policy are 2nd or 3rd generation European or other migrants.

The council are back-peddling a bit saying it was only ever a short term placement but the article also says the boy was taken first at the start of the week and the 2 girls later.
I may be wrong but this indicates that these 3 siblings have now been split up as a direct result of this action. It is not easy to place 3 siblings in one home because of the space requirements and because of the willingness of most carers to only take 2 children at most. It sounds like this has potentially torn that little family apart.

The council may feel in some warped way they have protected the children's heritage and cultural welfare but all other aspects of their care will now be compromised especially if, as the article suggests, the boy has been separated from his sisters and the baby and little girl's bond with their primary carer is broken. Just awful.

tiggytape Sat 24-Nov-12 10:36:57

formal ties not formal toes!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 24-Nov-12 11:01:08

I'm no fan of UKIP but I never had them down as a particularly racist bunch. Very puzzling decision if it's been made on the basis of political allegiance alone...

Well we only have their word for it that being members of UKIP was the reason. There may well have been other issues. Given how difficult it is to find foster families for children I would imagine social services would have to have been really sure they weren't suitable.

flatpackhamster Sat 24-Nov-12 11:50:51

MrsMiniversCharlady

Well we only have their word for it that being members of UKIP was the reason.

No, the council has confirmed that the foster services' ignorant and prejudices views were the reason the children were removed.

There may well have been other issues.

The couple were described as 'exemplary' foster carers.

Given how difficult it is to find foster families for children I would imagine social services would have to have been really sure they weren't suitable.

No, it seems that you can be blocked from fostering merely for belonging to a legal political party.

tiggytape Sat 24-Nov-12 12:34:26

MrsMiniversCharlady: No - not at all.
The council were very clear all aspects of the children's care had been excellent - "exemplary" in fact.

The council said: 'there was no issue about the quality of care the couple provided'
From the article: 'The couple were described as “exemplary” foster parents: the baby put on weight and the older girl even began calling them “mum and dad”. '

It is very dangerous when an injustice has been done for people (like you have) to start saying "ahh there must be more to it than that. I bet there's something else they've done wrong that we don't know about it." when that isn't true at all.
The council and all agencies are very clear that these are excellent and caring people. It was literally only the UKIP membership that was an issue (and it looks like the council will now have to back down after widespread condemnation about what they have done).

Are you guys reading another article? Because the Telegraph one does not say that the council described them as "exemplary" just that they were described. That could be a quote from anybody - a friend, a health visitor or even the couple themselves.

And the council's statement in that article doesn't even mention UKIP. We only have the couple's word for it that UKIP was the reason for their removal.

Leaving all that aside, UKIP may not be racist like the BNP, but they are known for their views that the UK is too relaxed on immigration. If they are looking after children from immigrant families (even 2+ generation back) I think there may well be concerns about their views negatively impacting on the children in their care.

flatpackhamster Sat 24-Nov-12 13:35:08

*MrsMiniversCharlady^

Are you guys reading another article? Because the Telegraph one does not say that the council described them as "exemplary" just that they were described. That could be a quote from anybody - a friend, a health visitor or even the couple themselves.

There are several Telegraph articles, along with a Guardian article, one on the BBC site and the Mail. Take your pick.

And the council's statement in that article doesn't even mention UKIP. We only have the couple's word for it that UKIP was the reason for their removal.

The woman who made the decision was on Radio 4 this morning, piously defending her mighty attempts to purge Britain of incorrect thought and moral wickedness.

Leaving all that aside, UKIP may not be racist like the BNP, but they are known for their views that the UK is too relaxed on immigration. If they are looking after children from immigrant families (even 2+ generation back) I think there may well be concerns about their views negatively impacting on the children in their care.

Jesus wept. Your contempt for these people really knows no bounds, does it?

Contempt?! I just don't think it's a great idea to have people who think we have too many immigrants in the country looking after the vulnerable children of immigrants. How is that contemptuous?

ElBurroSinNombre Sat 24-Nov-12 13:53:13

CharLady,
Wouldn't it be better if the foster couple in question were judged on their actions (which the council says are exemplary) rather than their membership of a legal political party?
You are also casting aspersions on their character from a position of complete ignorance with your 'no smoke without fire' type comments. Shame on you.

No, I am suggesting that it is wise to read articles critically, bearing in mind that the article linked to was fairly one-sided.

ElBurroSinNombre Sat 24-Nov-12 14:06:31

I heard the report about this on the BBC and have not read the articles listed.
In any case, what has where I heard about the case got to do with you committing slander by saying above that there were probably 'other issues' when there is absaloutely no evidence for that? Are you going to retract that statement?

ttosca Sat 24-Nov-12 14:30:50

ElBurro

Do you even know what 'slander' means? They way you using it doesn't make sense.

longfingernails Sat 24-Nov-12 14:38:22

It now seems that Joyce Thacker was an advisor to "Common Purpose":

Why am I not surprised?

edam Sat 24-Nov-12 14:42:23

ttosca's got a point re. slander (although it would in fact be libel). It is defamatory to publish statements that suggest this couple are anything other than decent foster carers who are members of UKIP. You are very unlikely to be sued, because only rich people can pursue actions for defamation, but there is a good point here. Even the council are careful to admit there is no question about this couple's fitness or characters - the only issue is their membership of an entirely legal political party.

Rotherham SS has got a flaming cheek. This is the borough that failed in its legal duty to protect children from rape and abuse by gangs of men partly for racist reasons. The police in Rotherham actually accused parents who were trying to rescue their children of racism (parents and children were even arrested and accused of racist harassment - clearly the police did that, but they were hand in glove with SS and if you read the official reports you'll see all statutory authorities were more concerned about protecting the image of Asian men than protecting children. (You need to read down to get past the stuff about what they claim they are doing now.)

tiggytape Sat 24-Nov-12 20:07:23

The council said publically that UKIP membership was the only reason for breaking up this family. They said they 'were concerned about the children’s “cultural and ethnic needs” having been tipped off that the foster parents had become supporters of UKIP and worrying that immigration policy may be turned into some kind of race issue.

There is nothing more sinister to it than that - the council believed that any party with strong policy on immigration somehow were tainted by unacceptable views. This is ridiculous - anyone can agree with immigration caps or cuts without being a racist. In fact many migrants to this country also agree with controls on future immigration.

UKIP's views aren't shared by a lot of people but they aren't racist views or dangerous views. No party in fact favours uncapped immigration and Labour (since this was such an issue in the 2010 election) has gone to great lengths to say they got it wrong in the past and will be toughter on immigration next time (although they aren't in favour of breaking from Europe etc).

If you only have foster carers who hold state-sanctioned views on every single subject - you'll have no foster carers left at all. Immigration and racism are separate issues. Rotherham seems crippled by the desire to be seen to be totally politically correct even when that means the needs of children are put second or disregarded totally.

edam Sat 24-Nov-12 20:13:28

Quite, tiggy. You'd think the council would have learned after being exposed for their shameful treatment of girls who were being raped and abused by Asian gangs... (not that paedophiles don't come in all colours, but Rotherham authorities were more concerned to protect a gang of Asian paedophiles than their victims).

tiggytape Sat 24-Nov-12 20:14:05

MrsMiniversCharlady Just to prove it isn't the media distorting things - straight from the horse's mouth:

Mrs Thacker told BBC Breakfast: “We have to think about the clear statements on ending multi-culturalism for example....These children are from EU migrant backgrounds and UKIP has very clear statements on ending multiculturalism, not having that going forward, and I have to think about how sensitive I am being to those children.”
She added that there was no issue about the quality of care the couple provided and said she would co-operate with any investigation.

It has also been confirmed that, as a result of all this, the siblings have been split up and put with separate families which is probably far worse for them than living all together with a family who supports UKIP but where they can speak to each other in their own language, attend their church together and keep their family bonds strong.

edam Sat 24-Nov-12 20:17:07

Oh this gets even worse. So they've split a sibling group up, even though the children were being looked after by perfectly good foster carers, all in pursuit of some stupid incoherent political aims? Idiots. This sort of thing is not only awful for the poor kids, it gives ammunition to people who suspect what they call 'political correctness' and breeds suspicion and intolerance.

tiggytape Sat 24-Nov-12 20:32:28

Yes edam - and although the original foster carers had started to learn the children's language, the children spoke it between themselves. Now the boy is seperated from his sisters (and one of the sisters is a baby), this can nolonger happen.

The new families are also white British so do not share the children's heritage but are presumably Labour voters - so that's the main thing!

ElBurroSinNombre Sat 24-Nov-12 20:36:08

The irony of this is that the couple involved are, according to the Telegraph, disenfranchised former Labour supporters who feel ignored and betrayed by what was once a working class movement. And they, and many others, feel betrayed and disenfranchised precisely because of decisions like this. You couldn't make it up.

edam Sat 24-Nov-12 21:10:43

Tiggy, I think that's unfair. This isn't the fault of any of the three main parties, it's the fault of a small-minded bigoted social worker, who may for all we know vote Lib Dem or Green (probably not Tory, to be fair...). And a failing council which we know is failing vulnerable children very badly indeed. Next door council, Doncaster, is also shit for vulnerable children, with one of the worst social services depts in the country.

But my own council contracted out care for the elderly disabled and housebound to a private company that then failed to turn up, leaving helpless people without any care at all for a whole weekend. It's a Tory council. Councils of all stripes can be shit.

claig Sat 24-Nov-12 22:11:59

I don't vote UKIP, but what an insult to the millions of good people who turn out to put a vote against UKIP candidates in elections up and down the country.

claig Sat 24-Nov-12 22:19:39

What an insult to UKIP members, UKIP party activists, UKIP councillors, UKIP candidates and what an insult to democracy.

nepkoztarsasag Sun 25-Nov-12 01:41:40

Imagine if, right across the country, all foster carers who voted UKIP were prevented from fostering.

There'd be nearly three children who needed to find another placement.

Imagine if the same thing was done with foster carers who were Tory supporters.

That would be another four!

Cozy9 Sun 25-Nov-12 09:22:40

What? Do you think all foster carers vote Labour?

FunBagFreddie Tue 27-Nov-12 00:06:47

I get pissed off at the assumption that libertarians are racist. They aren't, they just want their national sovereignty back.

Squitten Tue 27-Nov-12 12:56:05

I would have a lot more sympathy for UKIP's outrage if they didn't send candidates to stand in my local by-election who say things like this:

http://www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk/Exclusive-UKIP-candidate-Croydon-North-says-gay/story-17426910-detail/story.html

tiggytape Tue 27-Nov-12 12:59:33

Squitten - The London Chair of UKIP is openly gay and has made it very clear they they do not oppose gay adoption and Ukip, as a party, is not against gay adoptions. It is just that one man's personal view.

There are people in every political party who believe that kind of thing and every political party has to spend time distancing itself from the views of some of its members that it does not agree with.

Squitten Tue 27-Nov-12 13:09:21

I'd suggest that if they have to distance themselves from their own Parliamentary candidate, they really haven't got a bloody clue what they are doing.

tiggytape Tue 27-Nov-12 13:27:17

All parties have to do it. You always get some MP or candidate who comes out with the sort of stuff that means their poor party spokesperson has to hurriedly shut them up and try to put things right.

A Labour MP caused his party trouble last year when he said that Britain's ambassador to Israel may have divided loyalties because he was Jewish!
The Newport West MP (Paul Flynn) said Matthew Gould, the Foreign Office's representative should be replaced with "someone with roots in the UK [who] can't be accused of having Jewish loyalty."
The Labour Chief Whip had to call him in and Ed Miliband distanced himself saying the comments were totally unacceptable.
All parties have people who show them up and come out with the kind of views that leave the rest of the party groaning with shame!

This UKIP candidate isn't even particularly wedded to UKIP it seems - he was a Labour supporter and then a member of the Conservatives and the Lib Dems for a year each as well. But you do get them in all parties.

Squitten Tue 27-Nov-12 13:44:48

I really do see what you're saying, in theory.

My problem is this: as a voter who they are trying to persuade to vote for them, I have to look at what they present now that they are given the opportunity to explain it to me in their own terms. If UKIP knowingly chooses a candidate who a) holds some rather objectionable views that are utterly contrary to the party line and b) isn't particularly loyal to UKIP at all, what am I to learn from that? It's not exactly extolling their finest virtues is it, if that's the best they can offer. I can't vote for them based on their ideals. I have to vote based on the person who will be representing me and voting on these kinds of key issues in Parliament - and this guy will not be apparently towing the party line so what agenda is he following exactly? Who knows!

And both his reputation and UKIPs is being utterly trashed now. Their European agenda is utterly vanished beneath a homophobia row. And they picked him!

It makes their complaining about adoption issues sound hollow when their own man is denouncing the rights of others to adopt under a nice big picture of their logo.

tiggytape Tue 27-Nov-12 14:50:44

You're not wrong. Lots of parties pick crap candidates and they normally do it in throw-away elections - the area elections that they cannot win so there's no particular incentive to stand a decent candidate.

It is said in Rotherham that you could stick a red rosette on a pig and people would vote for it. That's probably not quite the case but it is a traditionally Labour and left wing area so there's no point in any other party spending a lot of time and money on that area.

Again it is a tactic all parties employ.
In Tory areas, the Labour party dredge up some wet-behind-the-ears candidate and send their decent candidates to areas where they might actually have a shot at winning. And the same is true in safe Labour areas - the Tories don;t bother much with who stands or spending much time or money on campaigning.

tiggytape Tue 27-Nov-12 14:55:08

He's actually standing in Croydon North but the same applies - it is overwhelmingly a Labour area and the right wing candidates are seen as wasted there.

Cozy9 Wed 28-Nov-12 19:55:16

Rotherham isn't exactly left-wing, just benefit-dependent.

edam Wed 28-Nov-12 21:54:56

Cozy, that's a nasty swipe. Rotherham was one of the towns that lost its heavy industries - coal and steel - in the 1980s, when the then government decided to wipe out heavy industry and focus on the City of London instead. And we know how well the second half of that sentence went...

ironman Sun 02-Dec-12 12:25:44

Out of all of this the people who really suffer are the 3 children who were moved from the foster parents care. It is very difficult to find a family who will foster all 3 siblings together. In any case Labour voters,Tory voters, and Liberal voters, can all be against mass immigration or more states joining the EU and more immigration, so why don't they ban all of these prospective foster parents from caring for children? They can't because of the Human Rights Act, and the article which gives the right of political expression.
IMO social workers have far too much power, and it needs to be stopped. If Im right the social work panels are normally not made up of lay people (perhaps one or two) and they make the decisions in these cases of where children should be placed. Of course personal and political judgements will all come into play.
In many familes politics are spoken about,(including mine) but it has not mentally damaged my mixed race husband, my children or my mother-in-law who is from the far East. No I tell a lie, I became so damaged I joined UKIP! grin

YNK Sun 02-Dec-12 12:37:02

Exemplary carers? Encouraging children to call them mum and dad after a few months? Surely this is wrong, particularly as they have parents who want them back.
I believe there is an ongoing investigation regarding alleged abuse by the birthparents, so encouraging the children to reject them may jeopardise the lines of enquiry.

exexpat Sun 02-Dec-12 12:51:15

Haven't you read the latest updates on the UKIP/Rotherham/fostering story? Not surprisingly, it turns out that it was a rather more complicated situation than the "UKIP membership = no fostering" headlines made out.

Issues include the possibility that the birth parents might have been able to find their children at that particular foster home, and that there had been a previous court case about children from that family being fostered by people who didn't speak their mother tongue. It was also only ever intended as a short-term placement.

edam Sun 02-Dec-12 18:19:25

Flannel flannel flannel. Joyce Thacker head of children's services, went on TV to state clearly the issue was UKIP support by the foster carers. The birth parents may well want the children back - that doesn't affect the suitability of these foster carers v. any others. SS have clearly been unable to find other foster parents that speak the mother tongue - given we know the children have been split up. Clearly that has a huge effect on their ability to speak their mother tongue - given one of the kids is no longer with his siblings.

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