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.
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?