Some of you reading this either are or have been foster parents and you know how much your foster kids mean to you. Now imagine that after seven years of being a foster parent that you suddenly had your three current foster children removed from your home because you identified with a particular political party.
Wouldn’t you be outraged?
That is what happened to couple in Great Britain. Before you blow this off as being over there and not here in the US, let me tell you that in many such matters like this, the US almost always follows the patterns set in Great Britain and this could well happen here any day, if it hasn’t already.
At the moment, the Labor Party is the ruling party in Rotherham, England politics. It is a left-wing party that supports membership to the European Union, a fairly open immigration policy and favored multiculturalism in many ways.
There is a right-winged political party in the UK known as United Kingdom Independence Party or UKIP. It is a libertarian party that is pushing for the UK to withdraw from the European Union before they are destroyed by it. UKIP also wants to see a five year freeze on immigration for seeking permanent residence in the country. They also want to regulate and reduce the access to welfare benefits to new immigrants. Because of these anti-immigration views, opponents claim that UKIP is anti-multiculturalism.
When social workers visited the UK couple and discovered that they were affiliated with UKIP, they called the couple racist and declared that they were unsuitable caregivers because of their political views. The three foster children, all under the age of 10, were immediately removed from the home. The issue, according to the child services people is that the three foster kids are European immigrants and UKIP’s stance on immigration.
The foster mother reported that one of the social workers told her:
“[W]e would not have placed these children with you had we known you were members of Ukip because it wouldn’t have been the right cultural match.”
Joyce Thacker, Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services in Rotherham, supported the actions of the social workers, stating:
“If the party mantra is, for example, ending the active promotion of multiculturalism I have to think about that … I have to think of [the children’s] longer-term needs.”
Not all of the British bureaucrats are supportive of the removal of the foster kids. Michael Grove, Secretary of State for Education believes the actions taken were arbitrary, ideological and indefensible. He stated:
“If we say you cannot foster children because you’re a member of a mainstream political party or because you have views on multiculturalism then that’s utterly wrong.”
Although the Rotherham borough council say they are keeping the matter under review, nothing has been done to return the foster kids to the couple. The way the entire matter was handled by child services prompted the foster mother to say:
“[She and her husband had] personally been slandered and we would like a public apology from Rotherham.”
“From a personal and selfish point of view, we would like the children back. But we are more concerned with the children’s welfare, and we do not want them traumatized any more than they already have been.”
Like I said earlier, if you don’t think it could happen here in the US, think again. I personally know of a case that happened a few years back. I couple I knew were foster parents and had two school age foster children living with them. The children had been with them since they were infants. When a new children services case worker visited, she was outraged that the couple was taking the kids to church and Sunday school. She immediately ruled that the foster parents were causing undo mental and emotional harm by forcing their religious views on the children. The kids were immediately removed from the home and placed with a non-church attending family.
When the foster parents asked her to justify her actions, she said that the kids needed to wait until they were old enough to make their own decision on what religion, if any, they wanted to pursue. In other words, she wanted the kids raised with her religion of atheism rather than the couple’s Christian religion. The original foster parents fought to get the foster kids, but when it appeared the social worker was about to lose, she made a number of other false accusations about how the kids were being treated and the conditions they were living in. Sadly, the whole thing was so emotionally damaging on the parents that they decided they would no longer serve as foster parents and pulled out of the program. Incidentally, the foster mother ended up having an emotional breakdown and needed long term counseling and medical care.
Any of you out there who are foster parents or thinking about being foster parents, I can’t urge you strongly enough to do it because there are so many kids that need a good stable home environment. However, you also need to be aware that you may encounter social workers who have different religious and political views than your own and they may take action based on those differences.