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
"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
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
"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
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