LETTER: Our loving family was turned down

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In response to your feature in last week’s paper about Fostering I would like to show how desperate they are not to find suitable Foster Carers in the Horsham area.

I and my family applied to be foster carers, specifically for a 11 plus person, we wanted a slightly more adult person and apparently this is an area where demand is at its highest.

We were interviewed and had the necessary checks done, then the case worker rang me and said could I tell her about our dealings with social workers with one of our daughters. Now I could not remember any dealings that we had with social services with our daughter as just one was named yet we have two. They then asked me again and I asked for some clue, but they would not say anymore and duly we were turned down as not being suitable.

I then asked the reason and they said that it was because that a daughter from a previous marriage had gone out with a boy who had gained a conviction from looking at unacceptable pornography online. This happened some ten years prior and I had only met him twice and had completely forgotten about it. Because I never mentioned this was enough to bar us from fostering.

My wife and myself have no criminal convictions, do not smoke and drink very little, we have a lovely family home where a child would have been most welcome yet they deemed us unsuitable.

They say that anyone can foster, then include a big list race, religion, sexuality, single or married yet when it comes to it they are so fussy that they eliminate people who would make ideal foster carers.

We did appeal against their decision but it seems once they have made up their mind little can be done to change their decision.

I do know of single parents being allowed to foster, in fact the social worker that came to see us was in that situation, yet as a loving family we were turned down.

Yes I am somewhat sour about this as I feel that a child has missed out on something quite good due to the paranoid views of a social worker, who in general seem to come under some flack at times for not doing their jobs properly, yet in this case it was a matter of being over zealous in their task of finding suitable families. If they carry on like this no wonder there will be an awful lot of children seeking homes.

Name and address supplied

Editor’s note: in a rare departure from our usual protocol, the County Times has accepted this letter for publication anonymously in view of the nature of the content.