On 21 July, Thanet District Council will debate a plan to ban foster homes in its poorest ward, Cliftonville West. There are many structural problems underlying this proposal, most of which can be traced to cuts in social services, education and policing. I had this to say in an article in Isle of Thanet News:
“The most important factor is the safety of the children, but I don’t believe the plan to reduce the size of foster families will address this. Turning away children in need of a loving home would be a grave mistake. If the temporary ban goes ahead, it might mean that foster carers are unable to keep multiple siblings together. In light of the national shortage of foster carers, especially in London, this is extremely short sighted.
“Having a large number of looked-after children in a poor area like Cliftonville West may bring additional challenges, but the way to handle this situation is not to discriminate against vulnerable young people. What is badly needed is more support from central government for the children and their families and carers. Thanet could bid for additional resources to become a centre of excellence for care services and a place of refuge for some of the most vulnerable children in society.”