Parents face charge for putting children in care

Evesham Journal: IT JUST WON’T WORK: Labour group leader Councillor Peter McDonald, who spoke out against the idea. IT JUST WON’T WORK: Labour group leader Councillor Peter McDonald, who spoke out against the idea.

CONTROVERSIAL plans to charge parents who put their children into care have been delayed by four months – but council chiefs still say they want to introduce it.

As from October, Worcestershire County Council wants to charge parents for certain children’s services to avoid them intentionally “abandoning” their children.

The move, first revealed by your Worcester News in May, has been heavily criticised by the NSPCC, Britain’s leading children’s charity.

A consultation planned for May and June never took place, partly because of the local elections, but has now finally got under way and runs until Friday, October 11.

Critics have urged the authority to pull “back from the brink” and scrap the idea before it is introduced.

Councillor Peter McDonald, opposition Labour group leader, said: “Once a child is in care, if you’re chasing parents all over the place for money, it just won’t work.

“It will become a minefield and will cause nothing but trouble, stress and anxiety. We should be putting the children first, not the council’s bank balance.

“When we come across parents who, for whatever reason, feel they can’t cope with parenting, we should not be making it harder for them.”

Under the policy, the council say they will seek contributions to the costs of “certain services” to ensure children are cared for.

It includes youngsters made intentionally homeless, or those who are abandoned by their family.

Controversially, parents could need to pay the “full cost” of a service if they are deemed to not require any help.

The county council says children under a court order for care will not be included, which makes up 403 of the 636 youngsters currently in the system.

Siobhan Williams, head of children’s social care, said there are “rare cases” when children taken into care are ready to go back into their parents home again, but are refused.

She said: “We believe a child’s parents should be as fully involved as possible in all aspects of the care and well-being of their child – and this policy is about supporting that partnership approach.

“If a family are in crisis they would not be charged for services.”

She also said it would enable some parents to make a contribution towards their child’s care if they want to, something they cannot do at the moment.

Comments (7)

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3:54pm Sat 3 Aug 13

THE FACTS says...

“When we come across parents who, for whatever reason, feel they can’t cope with parenting, we should not be making it harder for them.”

Todays society has been created by caring people funding others through difficulties and over those 60 odd years it has produced generations who now expect to be helped when they come across any, I repeat, any hardship.

The result is a dramatic fall in personal responsible and an equivalent rise in feelings of entitlement.

Sad but true.

At some point the payer will decide there is no money left.

That time is here.
“When we come across parents who, for whatever reason, feel they can’t cope with parenting, we should not be making it harder for them.” Todays society has been created by caring people funding others through difficulties and over those 60 odd years it has produced generations who now expect to be helped when they come across any, I repeat, any hardship. The result is a dramatic fall in personal responsible and an equivalent rise in feelings of entitlement. Sad but true. At some point the payer will decide there is no money left. That time is here. THE FACTS

6:03pm Sat 3 Aug 13

jb says...

If parents refuse to pay the charges if this policy is adopted what happens then? Will the county council create a department to chase up payments or put extra pressure on existing financial departments costing more money? I can't see that the councillors have thought about this much further than the £ sign when drawing this proposal up. We all can appreciate the cost of keeping children in care but surely this will in some cases put children in difficult if not dangerous positions. Why not put extra effort into support services which will help keep children out of care.
If parents refuse to pay the charges if this policy is adopted what happens then? Will the county council create a department to chase up payments or put extra pressure on existing financial departments costing more money? I can't see that the councillors have thought about this much further than the £ sign when drawing this proposal up. We all can appreciate the cost of keeping children in care but surely this will in some cases put children in difficult if not dangerous positions. Why not put extra effort into support services which will help keep children out of care. jb

8:23pm Sat 3 Aug 13

THE FACTS says...

It is the support given over the last 60years that has produced a lot of people who expect help.
What do you do when the money runs out ?
Who is the responsible entity- the individual who had the children, or the state ( ie everyone else )
The buck has to stop somewhere...and with no money it looks like the time has finally come to reverse the flow back to the people who created the local difficulty themselves.
It is the support given over the last 60years that has produced a lot of people who expect help. What do you do when the money runs out ? Who is the responsible entity- the individual who had the children, or the state ( ie everyone else ) The buck has to stop somewhere...and with no money it looks like the time has finally come to reverse the flow back to the people who created the local difficulty themselves. THE FACTS

12:08am Sun 4 Aug 13

Old Uncle says...

When a couple are divorced or a parent skips out, they are generally required to pay some kind of maintenance or support for the child(ren) left behind. How is this any different?
the council is finding out to paraphrase Mrs Thatcher "they are running out of other peoples money"
When a couple are divorced or a parent skips out, they are generally required to pay some kind of maintenance or support for the child(ren) left behind. How is this any different? the council is finding out to paraphrase Mrs Thatcher "they are running out of other peoples money" Old Uncle

5:57am Sun 4 Aug 13

Guy66 says...

jb wrote:
If parents refuse to pay the charges if this policy is adopted what happens then? Will the county council create a department to chase up payments or put extra pressure on existing financial departments costing more money? I can't see that the councillors have thought about this much further than the £ sign when drawing this proposal up. We all can appreciate the cost of keeping children in care but surely this will in some cases put children in difficult if not dangerous positions. Why not put extra effort into support services which will help keep children out of care.
They will use the existing debt reclaiming processes so nothing new will be needed!
[quote][p][bold]jb[/bold] wrote: If parents refuse to pay the charges if this policy is adopted what happens then? Will the county council create a department to chase up payments or put extra pressure on existing financial departments costing more money? I can't see that the councillors have thought about this much further than the £ sign when drawing this proposal up. We all can appreciate the cost of keeping children in care but surely this will in some cases put children in difficult if not dangerous positions. Why not put extra effort into support services which will help keep children out of care.[/p][/quote]They will use the existing debt reclaiming processes so nothing new will be needed! Guy66

12:30pm Sun 4 Aug 13

rockburn says...

its time that those who cause these costs should take responsibility instead of always expecting everyone else to pay !. There are too many people expecting something for nothing and its not good for them or the rest of us !. A N.
its time that those who cause these costs should take responsibility instead of always expecting everyone else to pay !. There are too many people expecting something for nothing and its not good for them or the rest of us !. A N. rockburn

9:41pm Sun 4 Aug 13

mijas4@live.com says...

Good, anoher policy to support the principle that you have to take responsibility in life. Whilst Parents might not be able to cope and need support why should they get away from the financial responsibility that goes with having a child. I would certainly respect the Parents more if they understood this and showed a bit of pride by paying for what they are responsible for.
Good, anoher policy to support the principle that you have to take responsibility in life. Whilst Parents might not be able to cope and need support why should they get away from the financial responsibility that goes with having a child. I would certainly respect the Parents more if they understood this and showed a bit of pride by paying for what they are responsible for. mijas4@live.com

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