Monday, 7 September 2009

Political correctness versus the best interests of the child

There's a lot of publicity in today's papers about the comments made by the chief executive of Barnardo's and the government's reaction to those comments.

Unfortunately, it appears that even the Conservatives don't have the guts to admit that some children would be better off away from their birth parents. The Shadow Children's Minister said: "The bottom line is that the people who know best how to look after their children are the parents of those children."

This is just not true in some cases. Look at those boys in Doncaster who have been found guilty of torturing and sexually abusing two other young boys. They came from a family of seven brothers, all of whom were well known to police and social services.

Their father was a violent alcoholic, and their mother was a drug addict. There were reports that the children had been seen scavenging for food in local dustbins, because their parents were too chaotic to look after them.

One of the weekend papers reported that they had been made to watch violent films which made them scream with terror. Their mother then fed them cannabis to calm them down.

How can innocent children be left with parents like that while social services are forced to stand by and watch the inevitable car crash that their lives turn into? How can we break the cycle of violence, depravity and neglect without children being taken out of that environment before it's too late?

And at the same time, when children are taken into care, too often social services seem to be following their own politically correct agenda rather than trying to do what's best for the children. Take, for instance, the recent case of the Catholic boy who was placed, against his mother's wishes, with a gay couple.

In that case, the mother was unable to care for her child because she had had a mental breakdown, but she still cared deeply about what happened to him and how he was cared for - a very different situation from the feral scum who just keep breeding with no regard for their children's welfare.

Social services were eventually forced to reconsider, but it's absolutely breathtaking that they should have thought they could get away with completely ignoring the child's religious background, the mountains of research that indicate that children do better in a 'normal' family environment and the mother's wishes simply to further their own politically correct cause (Brighton and Hove has the highest rate of homosexual adoption and fostering in the country).

It breaks my heart that there are so many children growing up in an atmosphere of violence and neglect when there are so many couples out there who would love to give them a decent start in life and shower them with the love and attention that they so need.

It breaks my heart that by the time children are taken into care and put up for adoption, they are so damaged and brutalised that it's often too late for simple love and attention to save them and they need specalist care that most ordinary couples are simply not equipped to give.

And it breaks my heart that it seems that so often decisions about how to help these children are made not on the basis of sound research and experience of what's best for the child but on the basis of politics and political correctness. I'm disgusted and deeply saddened that the well-informed opinions of someone who is experienced in this area and works for one of the oldest and most respected children's charities in the country can be dismissed as nonsense by a government minister who knows NOTHING about the lives that these children lead.

This is not a political issue - it's a human one. And the 'system' is failing huge numbers of the most vulnerable people in our society.

It's time the pendulum swung.

1 comment:

  1. Amen. And as soon as possible. Well written.