UKIP foster couple apology

Rotherham Council has apologised for the way it handled a decision to remove three Eastern European children from foster parents who were members of the UK Independence Party. But they insist the decision was in the children's "best interests."

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Rotherham Council leader details foster care inquiry

Rotherham Council leader Roger Stone says the investigation into the decision to remove children from the care of two foster parents who are members of UKIP will ascertain whether "everything has been done professionally".

He said:

We are going to investigate to make sure everything has been done professionally.

If the professionals give advice, we take it. We are going to investigate - we always would if somebody complains.


Education Secretary: 'We need more parents to foster'

Education Secretary Michael Gove has attacked Rotherham Council's decision to remove three children from their foster parents because they supported UKIP.

Rotherham's reasons for denying this family the chance to foster are indefensible. The ideology behind their decision is actively harmful to children.

We should not allow considerations of ethnic or cultural background to prevent children being placed with loving and stable families. We need more parents to foster, and many more to adopt.

Any council which decides that supporting a mainstream UK political party disbars an individual from looking after children in care is sending a dreadful signal that will only decrease the number of loving homes available to children in need.

I will be investigating just how this decision came to be made and what steps we need to take to deal with this situation.

– Michael Gove, Education Secretary

Rotherham Council: UKIP support made couple unsuitable

Joyce Thacker, the Director for Children and Young People's Services at Rotherham Council says that UKIP's commitment to ending multiculturalism made a couple who supported the party unsuitable for fostering children with specific cultural needs.

She told the Today Programme that the three children were always going to be removed from the couple as they were only fostered by them on an "emergency placement". The authority had been previously criticised by judges for not finding foster parents who could support the children's cultural needs.

But she has denied claims that the decision to remove the two children meant that the authority thought that UKIP was "a racist party".

It's a fine balance between a practice matter we had to take. It wasn't an easy decision to take, I assure you, so the children were always going to be moved on to another longer-term placement.

I have to think about their needs. If the party mantra is ending the active promotion of multiculturalism, I have to think about that.

These children are not local children to Rotherham, it’s not through any fault of their own that they’re there and they’re in a very difficult situation, so I have to think about their longer term needs.

– Joyce Thacker, the Director for Children and Young People's Services


Rotherham Council: We are reviewing the carer's suitability

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council has released a statement after a report in the Telegraph said that social workers rejected two experienced foster carers when they discovered that they were members of UKIP.

After a group of sibling children were placed with agency foster carers, issues were raised regarding the long-term suitability of the carers for these particular children.

With careful consideration, a decision was taken to move the children to alternative care. We continue to keep the situation under review.

– Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council statement

Nigel Farage: 'These are real lives and real people'

The leader of UKIP, Nigel Farage, has expressed his outrage at the news that two UKIP supporters were told they could no longer foster children because of their political views.

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