Richmond cleared of wrongdoing in foster case

A council that removed a black child from a white foster family
who she had lived with for a year, and placed her with adoptive
parents of the same race has been cleared of wrongdoing,
writes Sally Gillen.

An independent inquiry into the case has concluded that Richmond
Upon Thames council acted appropriately when it removed child X
from her carers to be adopted by a couple who were friends of the
child’s mother.

The decision was correct because it is a better for a young
child to be adopted than placed in long-term foster care, and the
child’s foster parents were unable to meet her developmental,
emotional, ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious needs, says
the report.

But shortcomings in the council’s handling of the case
have also been highlighted. These include failing to consider
placing the child with her adoptive parents earlier before she
became attached to her foster carers.

Social services also failed to adequately support the foster
family, and they received little training, according to the

Council chief executive Gillian Norton said: “We accept that Mr
and Mrs H were not sufficiently trained by us as foster parents. G
was only the second child sent to them, and it is understandable
that, without sufficient training, the Hs lacked full experience in
dealing with a very emotional and highly charged situation.”

The council has since changed its procedures and written a
foster care handbook.





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