The British Association for Adoption and Fostering ran a campaign last week to raise awareness of private fostering.
As explained by the Fostering Network
Private fostering is when a child under the age of 16 (18 if disabled) lives with someone who is not their guardian or close relative (defined as grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings), for 28 days or more, by private arrangement between parent and carer.
The law states that private foster carers must notify their local authority of any private fostering arrangements.
The Posters that have been up around near where I live are snappy and explicit. Let someone know if you are looking after a child who is not your own. The websites which follow the campaign are equally explicit and offer lots of links and suggestions, including charities to contact if you don’t feel ready to contact social services directly.
There are lists of people who are considered ‘close family’ such that the arrangement is not considered ‘private fostering’, for example, grandparents, step-families, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts – whether by full-blood, half-blood or by marriage
Fairly straight-forward. Not something I think I’ve ever come across but clearly it is happening.
And so the campaign exists in my peripheral conscience.
And then I made the mistake (I really shouldn’t do this) of tentatively checking, among my rounds of looking at the daily news, the Daily Mail website. And they have an unsurprising article entitled ‘Grandparent carers’ in fear from social service ‘snoops’.
The Grandparents Association is up in arms because the posters don’t explicitly mention that Grandparents (quite rightly) are allowed to look after their grandchildren.
You have to think that they don’t have anything better to worry about. The worst that would happen is that the matter would be resolved with one phone call.
I have to wonder too why the Daily Mail is seriously so vehemently opposed to the existence of child protection services. How far does the media have a role in whipping people up into a frenzy of anguish and anger that is wholly misplaced?
I guess is it so much easier to write ‘rent-a-quote’ stories that have no insight because perhaps we, as consumers, are looking for stories and ideas that are easier on the mind rather than providing anything that might induce thought and consideration – reasoning through arguments and balancing up ideas.
Oh, this is the newspaper that today prints a story with a quote that the Christian community in the UK are the most discriminated against in our society because a nurse was disciplined when she offered a prayer for a woman she was visiting.
But looking at the story, the patient in question is quoted as saying (and this is a Daily Mail quote, where they are seeking to serve their own purposes remember)
The great-grandmother told the Mail last night: ‘It didn’t worry me, it just struck me as a strange thing for a nurse to do. She finished dressing my legs and before she left the last thing she asked was would you like me to say a prayer for you? I said “no thank you” and then she went.
Another part of the article goes on to say
She admits she received a previous warning about promoting her faith at work. Last October she offered to give a prayer card to an elderly male patient in Clevedon, Somerset. He accepted it but his carer raised concerns with the Primary Care Trust
The argument that this is a Christian being discriminated against does not hold up. Can you imagine any other religion, or better, an atheist promoting their beliefs to people they work with?
I have and continue to work alongside devoutly religious practitioners whose religion informs their social and moral interactions but never would they consider it acceptable to cross a line and bring this into a work environment.
And you know, it is completely inappropriate to evangelise at work, unless you are a preacher, I guess, in which case, it is your job . Even with the Mail’s spin I can’t see how a professional would see it as acceptable – especially considering she already had a warning.
I haven’t even started on the coverage of the grandparents objecting to their grandchildren being fostered by a homosexual couple.
Aethelread deals very ably with the issue and I don’t think I could manage his coherence.
So I know that this is a newspaper with its own agenda and issues – but it has become increasingly, a joke of a rag with little ability to create a coherent message through the course of one article.
It is however, one of the most popular newspaper websites in the country.
That is truly frightening.