We all know there is a war on smokers and as many people are now realising, a war on children and families too.
For the past few years, married couples who have otherwise been found to be suitable foster parents, have been turned down because of the most incredulous reasons, which include, “they have too many books,” and “they go to church”.
Now it is the smokers’ turn. Quite right, you might think. A child under five cannot be adopted into a family where there is a smoker, but Redbridge Council have just decided that no child, regardless of age, should be placed in a house where someone smokes.
The point is that there are tens of thousands of youngsters in care and to deny them the support of a potentially loving family for this reason is plain wrong.
The twist in the tale is that, according to this report (pdf: page six) from the NHS and City Council in Glasgow, three-quarters of youngsters who have been in the city’s care homes are smokers:
“A study commissioned by ‘the big step’ to examine the health needs of a sample of young people who were ‘looked after’ by the local authority in residential units Glasgow found that 75% of the young people were smokers, with 27% starting to smoke whilst in care (Glasgow Alliance Social Inclusion Partnership for Young People in Care & Leaving Care, 2001).
“This is much higher than that of the general teenage population, and can be due to various factors, including: smoking being seen as a way to engage with peers and build relationships; peer pressure; lack of awareness around the damaging effects of smoking; stress; weight management; perceived attractiveness of smoking; and smoking being considered normal and acceptable due to parents and carers smoking. These issues are relevant to all young people; however they are more significant in Care placements due to the vulnerability of the young people.” (My emphasis)
From an article in the Telegraph entitled “The worst place to grow up is in care,” “the number of children being adopted has been falling for the past four years. There are a staggering 60,000 children in care.
“Last year just 3,200 children of them moved from care into permanent adoption – 16 per cent fewer than in 2004. This is despite the relaxation of adoption laws in 2005 that enabled same-sex couples, civil partners and unmarried couples to become adoptive parents.
“It comes as something of a surprise, therefore, that far from increasing the pool of prospective families, local authorities seem determined to narrow the definition of what makes a “good” parent.”
The Glasgow report raises concerns that staff/carers and ‘significant adults’ should act as ‘positive role models’ and so children should be shielded from witnessing their carers and foster parents smoking or even seeing them in possession of cigarettes and a lighter, yet it is deemed all right for them to watch two homosexual men or two lesbians cavorting on the settee.
Page sixteen of the report intimates that three times the number of residential care home staff smoke as foster parents (35.7% and 12.7% respectively), so again the ‘role model’ argument is shot down.
Paedophiles often apply for jobs where they can come into contact with children and working in care homes sounds like the ideal job for them. A whole network of paedophiles was uncovered in South London care homes. They had operated for twenty years.
Despite all of this, the ‘authorities’ seem to prefer putting every obstacle they can in the path of prospective foster parents so that they can keep the youngsters in the care homes, which are surely the worst place they could be with regards both to their safety and development.
The Telegraph article continues,
“The diktats have come down: children under five cannot be adopted by families where a parent smokes. Redbridge council announced this week that children of any age should be prevented from being adopted by a smoker; a couple in Newham who admitted to smacking their adoptive son for swearing were told that their use of this (still lawful) method of discipline precluded them from adopting the boy’s half-sister.
“Despite evidence that differences of race or ethnic background do not affect the success of adoption placements, many councils still stress their desire to see black and mixed-race children adopted by parents with the same racial profile.”
From another Telegraph article
“More than four times as many children were adopted each year in the 1970s, but the legalisation of abortion is said to have led to a “rapid decline” in numbers as mothers chose not to have unwanted babies rather than giving them up to other families.”
You can understand why I insist the ‘authorities’ hate children. If they are not killed in the womb and are born, unwanted by their mothers, they get shut away in state ‘care’ just so they are not placed in a family with a smoker, a full bookcase, or where a deserved smack might be occasionally administered.
Clearly, in the recent past, there were plenty of families willing and able to adopt and foster children before the rules made it so incredibly difficult.
Far better, in the mind of some, that they graduate from an atheistic state system where they are far more likely to smoke themselves, drink to excess, use drugs, perform worse at school, become promiscuous* and serve time in prison.
*And so the problem with unmarried teenage pregnancy is guaranteed to keep the whole ‘care’ system fully functional.