This Care System Is Creating Written-Off Children
When my only child was put into care when my child was ten years old. Approximately one month after their tenth birthday. The following writer knows all too well that the system is ‘not fit for purpose’ – especially for girls.
By Precious Williams
June 18, 2012 / The Guardian
They are labelled “looked-after children” but it might be more accurate to call them “written-off children”. There are about 65,000 children in care in Britain today. A care system branded by an all-party report as riddled with weaknesses, with residential care “not fit for purpose” for children who go missing.
Just the other day I was transported right back to those times I thought I’d left behind. I was in a black cab and the driver got chatting. He wanted to know what I did for a living. “Journalist, eh?” he said, and then he asked what I thought about the news stories about the ring of sexual predators in Rochdale. “Those little scrubbers in Rochdale,” he said. “They were asking for it, if you ask me.” In fact, I wasn’t asking him. But I certainly should have argued with him and set him straight – told him the girls were the victims, and that the men who raped them were disgraceful predators preying on young people they knew were vulnerable. The cabbie’s certainty that those girls deserved to be raped and exploited silenced me. I used to be one of those girls. The types of girls society – let’s face it – looks down on and holds in contempt. The sort of girl a predator thinks he can get away with raping.
Men and women already have equal rights within the family court system, but some just do not see it.