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Monday, December 5, 2016
Agency rejects plans to put refugee children into care
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¬†News that the government is proposing to take children of asylum seekers into care, has been greeted with dismay by Catholic childcare experts today. "Putting children in care just because of the inefficiencies of the asylum system is no substitute for an effective policy" said Jim Richards, Director of the Catholic Children's Society (Westminster). He was speaking about the Government's proposal for the Queen's Speech where up to 2000 children might be put in local authority care if their parents, whose asylum pleas have been turned down, refuse to take a "voluntary" flight to their country of origin. Jim Richards went on: "Prime Minister Tony Blair, in introducing the recent Green Paper ≠ Every Child Matters ≠ wrote about how our children are everything to us and how they are cherished and loved. This is the case with the overwhelming majority of parents, asylum seekers, included. He goes on in that document to say that only when that is not the case should they come into care. This new Home Office policy flies in the face of this. What needs to be developed is an efficient caring system to return families to their country of origin, not one that tears children from parents when they are at their most vulnerable". Jim Richards further pointed out that what the Home Office does not seem to realise is that this massive rise in the number of children in care will probably break the system, especially in London: "Already" he said "there is an acute shortage of places, leading to children being sent miles away from their home area or to unsuitable homes. This step may mean that children who really need care will not be able to receive it, pushed out by those who ought to be with their loving parents".
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