In our view, the first priority should be the needs of the children involved, not political point-scoring. The Adoption and Children Act 2002, section 1(5) is explicit in stating that:
“In placing the child for adoption, the adoption agency must give due consideration to the child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background.”
While we do not know the details of the Rotherham case, social work managers clearly had grounds for concern that foster carers who were members of a Party recently described by David Cameron as ‘closet racists’ might not be in the best position to meet the needs of these three children from a minority ethnic background.
Research shows that while many ethnic minority children looked after by white carers have had a positive experience, others have not. We call, therefore, for an end to the political point-scoring by both UKIP and Gove and for a calm and mature national discussion as to how we can best meet the needs of these and other children in need of substitute care.