Response to Rotherham fostering story
Responding to the news story relating to fostering this weekend, chief executive of the Fostering Network, Robert Tapsfield, said: “It is best practice that, unless there is an immediate and significant risk of harm to the child, no fostering placement should be ended prematurely before a review is held and the foster carer, child and child’s parents should be consulted.
“We will learn from the inquiry that Rotherham are conducting whether this happened in this situation, but it appears at this stage that it did not. However, we need to keep this in perspective. There is no evidence to suggest that foster carers are or should be asked about affiliation to mainstream political parties.
“The wider issue is the fact that, for whatever reason, children are on occasion being moved from foster carers when a concern is raised but before there is a proper assessment and consideration of what is in the child’s best interests and before there is any consultation with the foster carer. We will be raising this issue again with the children’s minister.
“We are also concerned that this story is being used to suggest consideration of a child’s ethnicity is not important. Social workers are required to take into account a range of factors when making decisions about a child in care. They will want to know that a new fostering placement will meet the child’s health and educational needs, will enable the child to keep in contact with important family members and will help the child develop their sense of identity, of which race and ethnicity are a part.
“It is right and proper that all of these factors are taken into account, the law is clear that no one factor is more important than another. It is the child’s overall needs that must be considered and it would be entirely wrong to suggest that ethnicity is not important."
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