Oooh, yes, let’s professionalise another of the little platoons

It’s a popular misconception that foster care workers are “substitute parents” performing a similar role to adopters. Yes, they passionately and tirelessly look after children and young people, but the foster care workers who take society’s most vulnerable into their homes are professional carers. They have considerable training (and in many cases qualifications), must be “registered” with a local authority or private fostering agency, are given an allowance and special tax arrangements to help cover the costs of looking after children in their homes, and are often paid fees for their work. They do not have legal authority over the children and, indeed, their role often involves helping build the relationship between biological parents and the children.

No doubt we’ll have to make sure they’ve an advanced degree in grievance studies before they can be allowed to wipe little bottoms and blow little noses.

FFS.

One of the readers here talked of a niece (I think?) who was never going to set the intellectual world alight but who actually liked children, and children liked her, and she was perfect at–as Sir Pterry pointed out sometimes needs to be done–tipping the wee out of a little shoe and finding the spare dry pair of underpants. With a hug afterwards.

Isn’t that who we need here?

19 comments on “Oooh, yes, let’s professionalise another of the little platoons

  1. “This would allow foster carers trade union representation in disciplinary hearings, give them statutory protection for whistleblowing, and guarantee paid holidays (currently only given at the discretion of the fostering service).”

    Aha!

  2. Some of the article deserves your FFS; but some of it doesn’t. Fostering, like adoption, is massively hampered by local authority bureaucracy, by impossible and arbitrary standards applied to would be foster and adoptive parents and, as pointed out, a closed system that hands all the power to those authorities. A body dedicated to working for foster parents is a good thing. Most of all it might help clear the treacle that prevents children getting the safe, loving home they deserve.

  3. “A body dedicated to working for foster parents is a good thing”

    One day there might be a public organisation dedicated to the kids too.

  4. A body dedicated to working for foster parents is a good thing. Most of all it might help clear the treacle that prevents children getting the safe, loving home they deserve.

    Ironman, no arguments with the bit I quoted, but I have £50 here that says that any system set up will be run for the benefit of the unionised workforce and “progressive” indoctrination, and the children will get zero consideration. Want to take up the bet?

    (q.v. the education system, the health system, etc etc)

  5. From the linked article linked in the linked article (and respect to the Guardian for providing a link to the Times):

    A record number of children are being taken into care due to abuse or neglect

    Why is this so? From my (unashamedly middle-class) viewpoint, parents have never been so involved with their children. Is there a hard core of underclass which keeps growing? Or have the standards expected of parents risen significantly over the years? Or is there simply more evidence available, now that every two year old has a camera-equipped smartphone?

  6. Rob

    “One day there might be a public organisation dedicated to the kids too.”

    That’s what the loval authorities are supposed to be. So your point would seem extremely valid.

  7. Andrew M – “Why is this so?”

    Children are more likely to be abused if their mother is alone, if their biological father is not in the home, if their parents are not married.

    The number of children raised outside the traditional 1950s style family is rising. Hence so is abuse and neglect.

  8. Andrew M,

    A record number of children are being taken into care due to…

    Abuse or neglect may be the justification provi

  9. Andrew M,

    A record number of children are being taken into care due to…

    Abuse or neglect may be the justification claimed, but the actual reason is the ‘Baby P Effect’; after the loathsome Haringey borough council’s failings in the Victoria Climbie and Baby P cases, local authorities felt it necessary to change their ‘safeguarding’ methods to avoid such bad publicity themselves. Now, they could have taken a good hard look at themselves and their approach, but that would require genuine effort, the sacking of ineffectual council employees and some degree of career risk. Far easier to take the bureaucratic approach of simply using a bigger net and breaking up more families by taking their children into ‘care’. Statistically speaking, this approach must indeed reduce the chances of another Baby P incident, but what often gets overlooked is that it does so by removing more children unnecessarily and placing them in the care of the likes of Joyce Thackeray, thereby creating a greater pool of potential victims of the rape gangs of Rotherham et all. Candidly, I think Bloke in Wales’s £50 is quite safe.

  10. “Isn’t that who we need here?”

    Well, no. Have you seen the damage the care system does? We need people fostering to be some cross between jailers, magicians, and saints.

    Older kids don’t need wee tipping out of their shoes, but they do need someone who can deal with the extremely perverse incentives the kids are responding to.

    After a kid has been taught by a series of nasty experiences not to trust any adult, to grab whatever they can get in the short term because the long term is going to screw them over however well they behave, fostering is an almost impossible job. Normal parenting involves a fair degree of ‘you do your homework/behave/go to bed because if you don’t you won’t get [treats]’, and that all falls apart when the kids have had it hammered home that such promises will always be broken, or that if they’re not, the care system will step in a screw things up.

  11. Timmeh, I completed and reposted my obvious premature post, but the full thing disappeared. Do you have a spam tin or something it goes into, or is it lost forever?

  12. I once employed a woman who (with her husband) fostered children of all ages. Lovely woman, very caring (and, incidentally, large tits – which often go with caring), quite right-wing, sceptical of authority, knew what to say to social workers, not educated highly but very smart and shrewd…. Such saintly people do NOT need more regulation or ‘representation’. End of.

  13. Nemo,

    “Abuse or neglect may be the justification claimed, but the actual reason is the ‘Baby P Effect’; after the loathsome Haringey borough council’s failings in the Victoria Climbie and Baby P cases, local authorities felt it necessary to change their ‘safeguarding’ methods to avoid such bad publicity themselves. Now, they could have taken a good hard look at themselves and their approach, but that would require genuine effort, the sacking of ineffectual council employees and some degree of career risk. ”

    My son did a Social Science degree at Bath University as a mature student, no right winger he at the time (he was the de facto organiser of Occupy Bath) and he was absolutely scathing about the quality of the people who were doing Social Work degrees, and Bath is supposed to be one of the best in the field.

  14. I don’t want to detract from the seriousness of the topic, but why on earth is “registered” in inverted commas?

  15. I have only anecdata but at least it is first hand experience of the adoption process through an efficient Tory county council.

    After a couple of generations of progressive, permissive society some parents in the underclass are terrible, partly because their parents were also terrible.

    Parenting standards have been raised. Whether this is because governments have noticed, hence Sure Start or because schools are now ranked so they are more concerned about feral kids dragging their results down I don’t know. Domestic violence is much less tolerated too, unless you are Moslem when it seems to be encouraged.

    There is also much more knowledge of the long term effects of trauma in young children. The poor little beggars don’t just get over it.

    As a result social workers are now willing to get involved before too much trauma has taken place.

    Our foster carers were awesome. They weren’t middle class professionals but they were great with children which is what was needed. They do get paid for it but that only compensates slightly for the effort, stress and emotional upheaval they have to go through with these damaged kids.

    Considering they can get rung up and told they are getting a sibling group with almost no warning I think a foster carer association to represent them wouldn’t be a bad idea.

  16. In the current climate, anyone who fosters is mad. This may actually get worse ; if this case https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2016-0004.html goes in favour of the claimant it would establish the concept that a LA could be responsible for abuse by a foster carer.

    The result will be an explosion of claims against foster carers going back god knows how long. LAs have deep pockets.

    This kind of rubbish is only going to get worse.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.