Social workers failed to warn foster parents about sexual offences committed by a teenager placed in their care who went on to rape their two-year-old son and abuse their nine-year-old daughter.

11 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. My dear Tim, it is his yuman rites, not to mention that if the foster parents were told his history they would not have taken him.

    Any bets that this, and the recent revelation that where foster children are HIV positive the parents are not to be told, will lead to a severe shrinkage in the pool of foster parents?

    Now, is that a public good or a public bad? Let me see…

  2. err…. this is news ? Social workers and Education Officers have done this since the dawn of time. Almost literally.

    For them, a child is not a child (despite all the whining in the press), it’s a file which they have to ‘sort’. So they lie by omission, continually, because they know telling the truth would mean no-one would have the child.

    Personally, I’ve had these people ‘forget’ to tell me about children using knives on people, regular prostitution, arson, extremely almost psychotic violent behaviour (I work with difficult children) and on one occasion a court order which meant that I was encouraging a child to break it (unknowingly), a crime in itself I suspect.

  3. “I was encouraging a child to break it (unknowingly), a crime in itself I suspect.”

    Not if mens rea applies, it’s not.

  4. @idiots upthread, from the original article: “Foster parents have a legal right to all the information held by social workers on a child they take into their home [and] the right to sue the local authority in question.

    In other words, this has bugger all to do with policy, yuman rites, etc – it’s one inept twat in social services who ignored clear guidance and law, should be locked up for it, and will at the very least end up sacked for it.

  5. I only know one couple trying to adopt, who are thoroughly pleasant and boring, the Mrs is in fact herself a social worker, and the adoption people have made their life hell for the last two or three years.

  6. Foster parents may indeed have a legal right to all the information held by social workers ; however IME it is almost unheard of for it to be provided and if you don’t know it’s there you don’t ask for it.

    A lot of placements are set up on a wing and a prayer at the last minute ; the ‘where can we put him/her’ thought process again.

    In my original list for some reason I missed out sexualised behaviour ; this is in many ways the worst as in the current climate as a carer your chances of being on the wrong end of an allegation from such are enormous. No-one wants oversexualised children because of that risk. No-one wants arsonists because of the fire risk. SSDs have children that ‘have to go somewhere’. So they lie.

    I have some sympathy for the boy himself as well as the family ; he has been failed just as badly (however awful his crimes) – you don’t help an alcoholic by giving them a job as a pub landlord. They will probably try to make him the fall guy – it will be ‘all his fault’ ; to paraphrase our local Head of SS after one incident ‘the Social Worker didn’t actually rape the children’.

  7. True, Kay, but I’d have difficulty convincing a court that a Social Services Department that obtained a court order with my place’s name on it didn’t tell me about it …….. it is stupidity beyond belief – like this case.

    The *only* thing unusual about this case is that the worst case scenario occurred. People would be horrified if they were aware how often the risk was taken by SSD people (though they don’t take the real risk).

    It’s like overtaking on a bend ; a lot of the time you’ll get away with it, you’ll just dodge the car coming the other way etc.

  8. “True, Kay, but I’d have difficulty convincing a court that”

    I don’t think the court would be your problem. Your problem would be the allegations followed smartly by the inevitable arrest, the months on police bail, a bungled CPS decision to prosecute, months preparing for a trial, with the dropping of charges a few hours before the trial.

  9. “David Pinnel, for the defence, said that the youth had been exposed to temptation through no fault of his own. “He was immature and in need of help but through no fault of his own was placed in an environment where he was afforded the opportunity to commit these terrible offences. The criminal responsibility is his, but it would not have happened if he had not been placed in that position.”


    Brilliant. You could use that defence for absolutely any crime, no matter how despicable. Every individual in a civil society is living in an environment which affords the opportunity to commit all sorts of crimes. This lad has only just been placed on the sex-offenders register, despite his previous offences. He is 18 for heavens sake.

    The children of this family must have suffered a devastating collapse of confidence in their parents. Note how the daughter only told her parents of her own troubles after her little brother had been raped. Almost as if she wasn’t sure of her own status and security of tenure anymore.

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