Academic researcher in the area of child protection and foster parent Professor Brid Featherstone gives her thoughts on The Observer newspaper’s comment on the increasing pressures suffered by the foster carers.
“As a foster parent and academic researcher in the area of child protection, I consider it important that the Tower Hamlets case is properly understood and recognised. However, I am also concerned that, in the commentary on the placement of a child of Christian origin with a Muslim family, some vital issues have remained unaddressed. In particular, there has been a lack of discussion about the reasons behind the rise in demand for care placements over the last decade. We urgently need to discuss the links between government austerity policies, deprivation and the growth in the numbers of children becoming looked after. The failure on the part of government to discuss such links is perhaps understandable, but why have the media so often ignored the increasingly robust evidence in this area? Recent research, for example, has found that, in England, children in the most deprived 10% of small neighbourhoods were more than 10 times more likely to be looked after than children in the least deprived 10%. Such findings need to be understood and integrated with those on mortality rates and educational outcomes in order that we can appreciate the inequalities between our citizens in relation to raising their children safely in their own homes and communities.”
Read The Observer’s article in full.