Archive of topics from before June 2012. PM a mod to get one reopened.
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By Lord Brett
Membership Days Posts
#214709
ezinra wrote:Gosh, imagine a line of work that employed people who drink, don't always tell the truth, and sleep with folk they're not married to. The consequences must be unthinkable.

Holden's comment is a Mail classic. It's extra bizarre since he criticises social services for employing people on the basis of their life experience, and then goes on to dismiss academic qualifications in favour of the University of Life. Obviously he means the University of Holden's Life, rather than anyone else's.
Just because he attended the University of Life doesn't mean to say he passed his final exams.
 
By ezinra
Membership Days Posts
#225413
SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: The girl, 15, handed to her abusers on a plate to be raped by a sex gang after care home staff let her run away 19 times

This article is by a director of the Centre for Policy Studies, a right-wing think tank, and the examples she uses are a few years old and not all relevant to the Rochdale grooming case. The headline is misleading — care homes can't keep girls in solitary confinement or under lock and key. And yet it's worth reading as there's some actual journalism here. Her excoriation of private care providers has merit, and she draws attention to the problem of recruitment:
Deeply troubled young people need carers of the highest calibre. But staff in the home of the 15-year-old Rochdale victim had not, according to Ofsted, received ‘specific training in areas such as drug awareness and sexual exploitation’.

The homes also suffer from a high turnover — 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the staff in the homes I visited departed every year.

The average stay of a staff member is nine months — hardly providing the stability children such as Emma or the Rochdale victim craved.
Luckily we have a government dedicated to improving the prestige and working conditions of social workers, and enouraging councils to employ social workers in-house. Oh, no we haven't.

Readers propose some expert solutions:
People will not like what I'm about to say, but I can't see any other way of handling this. This small group of children will keep running away and causing problems. They will cost the country more and more and never contribute anything except lawlessness. The only answer is to stop wrapping them in cotton wool. Sit back and wait for them to break the law, charge them and then sentence them to detention. This way at least they can be kept under lock and key for the protection of both themselves and society

- Barry - average tax and NI i paid last year 33%, United Kingdom, 12/5/2012 11:56 Rating 99
The Mailite positive attitude shines through.
Stop all this pussyfooting around with youngsters put into care. Start to give the carers some authority to deal with the troublesome children, put locks on all doors and if necessary lock them in their room. All this PC rubbish is the cause of all our children's problems, the human rights act has not helped either. Bring back corporal punishment and most problems will disappear. Make the police do their duty correctly by prosecuting the under sixteens for having sex, its illegal. If a girl gets pregnant then she should be made to stay at home under her parents and social workers control,not given council housing as happens at present. R.S. Toddington

- Rene Samways, Toddington, England, 12/5/2012 11:42 Rating 144
Rene is not an expert on self-harm.
Again, another reason why social workers should step in sooner & put babies up for adoption, rather than leave them to a life of care homes and abuse.

- Sue, Cardiff, 12/5/2012 11:21 Rating 6
I think this is the conclusion the Mail wants us to draw: give the damaged kids to PLU. With a little love and discipline, we can turn their lives around, like in the movies. That overlooks the fact that these children would already be in foster families, at the very least, if it were possible.
And social workers take the children of loving, innocent parents as they suspect there 'may be emotional abuse take place in the future' and place them into these care homes. Evil exists in the UK and its sanctioned by the State and funded with your taxes.

- Ben, London, 12/5/2012 10:47 Rating 5
There's alway one. (Actually, there are loads.)
By shyamz
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#225422
Again, another reason why social workers should step in sooner & put babies up for adoption, rather than leave them to a life of care homes and abuse.

- Sue, Cardiff, 12/5/2012 11:21 Rating 6
And if the child never finds a home to be adopted into, they end up...in care.

Think it through Sue you twat - nothing is that simple.
#225426
And if they do find a home to be adopted into - they are adopted.

Which is a much better alternative. Why is she a twat for suggesting it?
Why isn't it that simple?
Children in care do very badly under all sorts of measures - why prevent them from having the chance of having happier lives?

The woman makes a sensible suggestion, and in order to have a go at her - presumably she's another one who 'boils your piss' you make a totally unsupported statement that these children will never find adoptive parents. Why?
 
By ezinra
Membership Days Posts
#225441
Hey you two, I don't understand your beef with each other, but please sort it out! I think you're both right here. Sue's suggestion is the ideal one, and I wouldn't go so far as to call her a twat, but it is also simplistic. The social services can't win: whenever they take a child into care against the will of the parents, they cop abuse from the Mail and its readers, but if they don't intervene early enough, they get criticised for whatever becomes of the children, too. In the case of most children in homes, it's too late for what ifs, the question is how to give them the best possible chance of finding work, and not getting caught up in drugs or prostitution or other abusive relationships. The odds are massively stacked against both the social workers and the children, and there isn't much to be gained from regretting things that happened many years in the past.
#225444
So you agree that the suggestion that children be put up for adoption is usually the best (depending on individual circumstances, of course)?

But the woman who suggests that is a twat? Why?

I've worked with looked-after kids, as I suspect you have. I've fostered kids for social services. I've dealt with the victims of abuse in care homes. I know which I would go for.
 
By ezinra
Membership Days Posts
#225459
I actually come at this more from the side of the social workers — one of my best friends managed a care home. As I understand it, kids are only left in homes as a last resort (and they know this). The staff really do try to match them with foster families at the first opportunity. Sadly this doesn't always work out. Some children go back and forth between foster care and homes. Some aren't even ready for that. It's a shitty way to begin your life, but the social workers do a fucking amazing job for the usual public-sector pittance (and now, increasingly, for outsourcing companies and private-sector agencies with no experience of care). In addition, to the Mailites every social worker is personally responsible for Baby P and has a gold-plated pension la la la.

Where I think Sue's comment is misguided is that it's simplistic. There are no figures as far as I know but I believe that adopted children are more-than-averagely likely to end up in care. It's not a magic solution. Also, domestic problems and abuse can develop over time. Fostering is often a better solution than adoption — it's common where the parents are substance abusers, for example, or when the mother is a victim of domestic violence. Sue's association of care homes with abuse is, at best, cheap.

From the outside, it's impossible to say what works best. Local government should listen to care workers, rather than to the outsourcing companies that run homes, and the state should fund long-term training and better wages for staff. Councils have one eye on the property value of the remaining care homes in city centres, which would mean more examples like the one Harriet Sergeant mentioned, where homes move to cheap red-light districts or isolated locations. As the comments show, the thing that upsets Mailites most is the cost of caring for these really, really disadvantaged kids, and they don't see any point in trying to provide support since the kids are already fucked up beyond help. That defeatist, penny-pinching attitude sometimes exists in schools and local authorities, too, and it has to change.
By shyamz
Membership Days Membership Days Posts
#225564
ezinra wrote:Hey you two, I don't understand your beef with each other, but please sort it out! I think you're both right here. Sue's suggestion is the ideal one, and I wouldn't go so far as to call her a twat, but it is also simplistic. The social services can't win: whenever they take a child into care against the will of the parents, they cop abuse from the Mail and its readers, but if they don't intervene early enough, they get criticised for whatever becomes of the children, too. In the case of most children in homes, it's too late for what ifs, the question is how to give them the best possible chance of finding work, and not getting caught up in drugs or prostitution or other abusive relationships. The odds are massively stacked against both the social workers and the children, and there isn't much to be gained from regretting things that happened many years in the past.
I'm not saying I have a problem with children been put up for adoption, social workers or children going into care, far from it in fact - in many cases it is far better for the child than been left where they are.

It was just that Sue's comment seemed very anti-care, saying that children should be forcibly taken from parents and adopted so they can avoid a life of abuse in the care system. Not everyone who works in care homes abuses or hurts children, only a very tiny number, the only ones you get to hear about on the news as opposed to the many others who try very hard at doing what is a very difficult and often forgotten job.

She seemed to think that her idea would solve all problems - probably assuming that a baby is much more likely to be adopted than an older child, she recomends taking babies from undesirable homes (by whos standards do we judge what an unsuitable home is at birth? Her standards?) straight away so they can find an adoptive home. In some ways this is true, a lot of people wishing to adopt would prefer a baby than a toddler or older child. But this is no guarentee that a child will find a permanent home, some children do not get adopted and end up spending much of their life in the care system that Sue seems to hate and thinks should be avoided. Not all children get adopted and live happily ever after in a movie-perfect family, that's just how it is - so figuring out what can be done to support carehome workers in providing a decent supportive environment for children to live in so they don't feel abandoned and unwanted (where many of their problems stem from) would be far more beneficial.

Her idea has worryong overtones. The idea that people should have the authority to decide that a person is an unfit parent as soon as the cord is cut. It seems that the only way her idea would work is by making judgements based on where the parents live, how much they earn, are they decent "PLU"s?

She seems rather confused about her attitude to social workers. On the one hand she is saying they should act quicker to get more babies adopted to avoid the dreaded care homes, but it is the social worker that also makes decisions about which older children go into care homes as well. Yet she doesn't think they should do that.

My problem was that her argument was far too simplistic, and grew from an unfair generalisation that all carehomes are. full of abuse. They might not be perfect, but not everyone who works in them is a bad person.
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