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We, the undersigned, deplore the way both the UK Independence Party and also Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove have sought to to exploit the case of looked-after children in Rotherham for the purposes of electoral gain and to attack local social work staff.
In the uproar over Rotherham Council’s decision to remove three children of East European origin from foster carers who are members of the far-right UK Independence Party (UKIP), the welfare of the children seems to have been forgotten. It has become secondary to the competing interests and agendas of politicians in the run-up to Thursday’s bye-election.
The Children Act 1989 Part III duties enshrine the principle that promoting the welfare of the child should be a central consideration in intervention into the lives of children and families. In protecting and promoting the physical, intellectual and emotional development of children, needs arising from race, culture, religion and language must be taken into account.
Black to the Future: Con-Dem’s plan to reintroduce colour-blindness and disable mixed ethnicity children by Sarah-Kate Bennett and Jolyon Jones (2012): SWAN West MidlandsIn the last year alone cuts of £1.86bn were made to Children’s Services across the country . The Con-Dem’s ‘great policy initiative’ for vulnerable children focused on early removal by the state and placement through adoption at minimal cost to the public purse. The adoption conundrum according to David Cameron, is that “people are flying all over the world to adopt babies while the care system at home agonises about placing black children with white families" . This supply and demand analogy is all too characteristic of a government that continues to push for marketised solutions to nuanced and complex circumstances.
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Social Work Action Network (SWAN)c/o Iain FergusonSchool of Social ScienceUniversity of the West of ScotlandPaisleyPA1 2BE
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