I followed the media frenzy regarding the Rotherham Council fostering case yesterday. I refer to it as the Rotherham Fostering case as opposed to the UKIP case as it wasn’t really about UKIP or at least it shouldn’t have been.
I’m not an expert in this area but I know that the Council should have a process for assessing the suitability of foster parents. I would venture to add that aside from the fact that foster carers are unlikely to want to look after children who come from a background that they have strong prejudices against, assessments should be designed to pick up such prejudices. (People don’t have to belong to a political party to hold racist opinions)
So against this backdrop I find myself pondering the appropriateness of Rotherham Council’s actions in this case.
- I’m not a UKIP Supporter but I’m mindful of the fact that UKIP is a legal political party. I haven’t done a full analysis of their policy, but I understand that they believe that there is a need for controlled immigration due to pressure that immigration places on our services. It might sound like mere symantics, but I would say that rather than controlled immigration we need better managed immigration – there is already a degree of control anyway. Besides which whilst immigration may come with its problems, it also brings benefits and over the years it has also provided us with solutions as well.
- But back to the point of the Rotherham foster carers, let’s say for a minute that UKIP is a terrible racist political party with some unacceptable policies even though it is a legal party; I know from research that there is a reality that people join political parties for different reasons. They don’t necessarily agree with all of their policies. It’s just as we at times vote for candidates even though we might not agree with everything they say. Similarly from an HR perspective when selecting candidates there may be one or two things we dislike about a candidate, but we tend to focus on what a candidate will bring overall and consider how we can mitigate any issues that may arise from the things we dislike or are concerned about.
- I therefore believe that in the Rotherham Foster case, the parents that the children were (at least on the face of things) comfortably living with should have been interviewed or re-accessed to determine whether they held views or beliefs that would have a negative impact on the children. This should have been backed with interviews of the children.
Sadly it seems that a rushed decision was made without any thought for how the move would affect the children. Young people who had possibly already gone through the trauma of a move from one country to another; problems in relation to their parents; and who knows – possibly a number of moves leading up to their more recent placement.
Copyright 2012. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated