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Video: I fear for future over Ukip row says Rotherham foster mother

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  • by Martin Slack
 

THE foster mother who had three children removed from her care after social workers discovered she and her husband were members of the UK Independence Party last night said she feared they would never be able to care for children again.

Rotherham Council has been severely criticised for its actions in the case involving the couple and the three children, a baby girl, a boy and an older girl who are from an European migrant background, but the authority stopped short of apologising yesterday.

The woman, an experienced foster parent who asked not to be identified to protect the youngsters, told the Yorkshire Post: “We’re both disappointed they haven’t apologised because we feel whatever their reasons for removing the children, the way they went about it was totally wrong.

“The children didn’t know and we didn’t know what was going to happen until two days before they were removed. It is usual practice to give a few weeks’ notice at least.

“Giving some notice gives children some time to adjust to the fact they are moving to another foster family and gives new foster parents the chance to meet them.

“Children don’t always show their emotions, but the girl involved has since bumped into my little grandson. She went up to him and gave him a big hug and said that she had missed us.

“It shows that she has still got an attachment to us in that respect, which is difficult.”

Ukip leader Nigel Farage called for the resignation of Rotherham children’s services head Joyce Thacker, while an investigation is underway by civil servants from the Department for Education.

Council leader Roger Stone said it would co-operate with the probe into what was a “very complex case”.

The foster mother, a nursery nurse in her 50s, said: “These children have now gone to other white, presumable British, couples. The only difference therefore is that these other people are not linked to Ukip.

“We wouldn’t have taken these children on from an ethnic minority background if we had been racist.

“In fact the council are being racist towards us by saying that, yes, we can continue fostering - but for white children only.”

The couple added that the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council leaders should consider resigning after they failed to apologise.

The foster parents said they felt “slandered and besmirched” after social workers took the children away.

“They should be considering their position,” the husband told a newspaper.

“These are people on incredible salaries who are paid to make responsible decisions but they can’t do it.

“It’s completely baffling that they just can’t put their hands up. They say this is a complex case but we don’t agree. It’s very simple.”

The pair have not been identified to protect the trio of EU-migrant children involved in the case. They lost the youngsters when Rotherham Council social workers discovered their political allegiance, which they deemed incompatible with caring for the youngsters.

The foster couple, a qualified nursery nurse and a former Royal Navy reservist, said in an ideal world they would like the children back but their chances have been wrecked because they do not want to cause them any more upheaval.

They spoke out after being told by the social worker that Ukip was a racist party.

The children were removed by social workers after the Labour-run council reportedly received an anonymous tip-off about the foster parents’ membership of the right-wing party which wants withdrawal from the European Union and immigration curbs.

Social workers said they were concerned about the children’s “cultural and ethnic needs”.

In his statement, Coun Stone said he had now received an initial report from his officials.

He said: “This is a sensitive child protection case. It involves both vulnerable children and the foster carers, so the information the council is able to release publicly is limited by law.

“At all stages, however, we will seek to be as open and transparent as possible as we co-operate with the Secretary of State.”

Details of the incident emerged on Saturday and provoked widespread condemnation from political leaders including Mr Gove and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Mr Gove, who was himself adopted as a child, said social workers had made “the wrong decision in the wrong way for the wrong reasons” and that he would be personally investigating.

 

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