Wednesday, 4 February 2009

” You can afford to think what you wish. I can't.”

Grandparents who bring up their children's children could be wrongly targeted in a campaign against unofficial foster parents, charities warned yesterday.

The Government-backed initiative urges neighbours, teachers and doctors to alert social workers if children suddenly turn up next door, in the classroom or at the surgery.

It also calls for children to put pressure on their friends to tell teachers if they are living with people who are not their parents.
Nice. Another example of ‘gettin’ ‘em young’. When are we going to call this what it is?
The Somebody Else's Child campaign has been organised by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering, with funding from the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

It is designed to persuade the public to tell social workers about 'private fostering' arrangements, in which children are given by their parents or carers to other people to look after.
Because God forbid there should be any aspect of life, however private, that the almighty State doesn’t know about, when it’s ‘for the children!’...
Lyn Chesterman of the Grandparents' Association said: 'I am absolutely flabbergasted. You have to ask, is this using a sledgehammer to crack a nut? I hope there are no repercussions for those families who are just doing their best.'
You can bet there will be though, Lyn...

And it seems that it isn’t even illegal to do what the SS want to know you are doing anyway:
Under the 1989 Children Act, however, private fostering by close relatives need not be reported to social workers. Close relatives include step-parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts and grandparents.

Posters in the campaign, which was launched last month, ask baldly: 'Do you know someone who is caring for somebody else's child? If it's for more than 28 days they must notify their local council. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.' They do not mention that there is no legal bar to relatives bringing up children.

Miss Chesterman said: 'You don't know if the person living next door to you is a child's aunt or whatever. This is making people make assumptions as to what the family next door is doing.'
Yup! It’s keeping everybody watching everybody else, regardless of whether that’s going to help, in any real sense. And it’s getting people used to the idea that spying on their neighbours and informing on them is a natural, normal, socially responsible thing to do...

And that little problem with the legal requirements? Easily brushed aside:
A spokesman for the BAAF said that grandparents should clear up any misunderstanding by contacting social workers themselves.
‘Report yourself, comrade, before a concerned citizen does it..’.

Are we really living in a free society? Sometimes I wonder...


Anonymous said...

I have a 12 gauge prize for the first social worker to knock on my door.

And seeing as I buy my shells in batches of 1000, the next 999 social workers after that.

Oldrightie said...

The steady drip to a pure Soviet State continues, yes?

Anonymous said...

You sometimes wonder?


Where have you been for the last few years? Away somewhere in a free country?

Stan said...

I suspect this is particularly aimed at African children who are sent to live in Britain with distant relatives rather than indigenous children living with their natural grandparents - but thanks to political correctness they can't draft laws to deal with the specific problem so they use a generalisation. The usual consequence of this - as we see all too often - is social services dealing in dreadfully draconian ways with those they don't care about offending while doing their utmost to be "sensitive" tp foreign cultures. The problem isn't that there aren't sufficient laws, regulations or even funding to deal with the real issues - just an inability to overcome the barrier of self-imposed political correctness and cultural sensitivity for fear of being branded racist, sexist or, worst of all, right wing.

JuliaM said...

I suspect so too - the case that immediately sprang to mind being Victoria Climbie, of course.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Funnily enough, my two sons from my first marriage were brought up by their grandparents, the first Mrs W abducted them and just sort of dumped them there, and although this is not an ideal arrangement, the lads seem to have turned out OK.

Anonymous said...

I am sure Stan is correct in every detail.

However, a handy byproduct of this nonsense will indeed be more state surveillance. The Stasi state, like the Nazi and Soviet states, requires everyone to be spying on everyone else.

Did you know your accountant, payroll agency, freelance bookkeeper etc now has to keep a file on you in case you are Mr Big from Columbia or Uncle Osama? It's the reason I am currently getting out of Accountancy. I refuse to be Big Brother's little brother.

Anonymous said...

As I recall the banks made a steady living lending to responsible people until they ran out of responsible borrowers and lent to irresponsible ones which led to a crash. I see the same thing happening here- social services have run out of needy people that they actually have the ability to help, so they're desperately looking for more clients to keep on expanding the business. It'll end the same way as the banks-wish I could call the top of the market though.