Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Question of Rights

I hadn't planned to give it any space here but the story involving two gay men who were jailed this week for sexually abusing the foster children in their care has appeared as a topic of conversation in several comments, so I thought I would give the story it's own thread here.

Just to recap:

A gay foster couple were jailed yesterday for sexually abusing boys in their care.
Ian Wathey, 41, was sentenced to five years and Craig Faunch, 32, to six years at Leeds Crown Court. They have been in a civil partnership for five weeks. The couple, from West Yorkshire, had denied the allegations at an earlier trial and the charges involved filming and sex with boys aged 8 to 14.

The question then is whether a local authority should have the right to place young boys with gay couples? This is a controversial subject but given that the natural state of a family unit is heterosexual, (or at least it used to be) should public servants be permitted to risk any potential for sexual abuse in the interests of political correctness. Where do the rights of the children stand in relation of the rights of a couple of a different sexual orientation to foster care?

22 comments:

Dobson of Margate said...

I wouldn't say it matters on the sexual oirentation of the parents, what matters is whether they are fit to be parents or not. Sexual abuse happens with hetrosexual parents aswell. I don't think if a couple is gay or not is an issue.

Little Weed said...

I agree that the fact of their being homosexual is not the most relevant part of this case, it is the local authorities inaction early on for any couple who are questionable soon after starting fostering.

Anonymous said...

But should young boys be placed under the care and influence of gay men at all. Who has the right to make such decisions?

MaryB

Anonymous said...

One of those moments where equality meets instinct and natural order. The gay lifestyle, by definition, means accepting that there will be no children as a result of the relationship, it is, quite simply, physically impossible. There are, however, many disturbed or damaged children, often damaged as a result of failures in heterosexual relationships, in need of care and loving homes, and some gay couples are able to offer that care and love to those children. There are clearly issues about role models, but those issues are no more difficult than those of single parent families with feckless fathers, of which there are many.

The history of the care industries is littered with examples of abuse. As far as I am aware, the liklihood of abuse occurring within a gay couple as carers is no more than that of other couples. All couples who are caring for children are subject to stringent checks by social service departments, and many of all sorts are turned down for various reasons.

That a headline case like this should turn into a witch hunt against all those gay couples who do a good job would be sad. If enough heterosexual couples of the right quality came forward, it may not be necessary. If enough heterosexual couples were able to bring up their children more successfully it would not be necessary. I hope debate on this site rises above the pub response 'should never be allowed to happen'. The truly sad thing, as many times in the past, is that these are vulnerable young people who it are relatively easy to influence and abuse because of their history. The most important question is how we ensure less of these children come into care and these sorts of risk. How we ensure proper parenting elsewhere to prevent the necessity of state parenting, which never has as good an outcome as a true family home.

No witch hunt, please, just sadness, anger, and determination to do better in the future.

Chris Wells

Anonymous said...

anon again!

As with everything, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I am inclined to agree that in most cases children in care are alloted 'safe' slots.

A few bad 'uns are bound to sneak through any scrutiny.

Anonymous said...

Well said chris.

I do not want to sound judgemental
but if Social Services do not like to put black or asian children with white couples because of the cultural implications then how come they place children with homosexual couples when it could cause sexuality and other problems,
e,g school kids can be nasty.
Remember that the welfare of the child is paramount and cases like this could stop a loving couple
missing out on the joys and of course sorrows of parenthood,which at the end of the day is a god given right for everybody regardless of gender orientation

J.G.Burns

Anonymous said...

It is encouraging and refreshing to see such a reasoned and generally well-informed set of responses. Probably not what you were expecting or hoping for, Dr Moores, in deciding to draw this story out for "special attention".

There has been far more focus on the "Turner story" in recent posts and there have been far more calls for you to raise this with Slippery Sandy, yet you choose to ignore all of that. I wonder why.

Old Codger said...

It would clearly make sense for all involved with approving a pair of homosexual men for fostering to make a restriction that they foster only girls.
Whilst the approval process for fostering is rigorous, it clearly failed in this case as did supervision. I cannot recall in the past few years any reported instance of heterosexual carers jailed for sexual abusing children in their care.
The main scandals of the 80s and 90s of sexual abuse in children's homes, wether Local Authority or children's charities run, involved pederasts.
It is an uncomfortable thought but I wonder sometimes if the hue and cry over 'paedophiles', when most sexual abuse occurs in the family environment, is a way of distracting criticism away from the homosexual community.
The unpleasant reality is that these homosexual paedophiles have blighted the lives of some of the most vulnerable young people in our society and this could have been prevented by not allowing homosexual couples to foster children of their own sex.
If this seems an extreme point and unfair, so be it; safety of our young vulnerable children has a greater priority than the desire for homosexual couples to play happy families.

Anonymous said...

I agree it seems like your ploy to illicit bigotry has backfired. What a disappointment it must be for you.

Anonymous said...

hehe. Sorry, that shoud be elicit bigotry.

Anonymous said...

Old Codger, your comments are inaccurate, ill-informed, and unfounded, but given your "so be it" remark, there seems little point in taking time to explain why. It would have no impact on you.

DrMoores said...

What's asking Sandy about the Turner got to do with it? I simply take reader's questions and try and direct the more intresting ones in his direction. The Turner has been done to death recently and there are other things to ask questions about.

Anonymous said...

What Slippery Sandy and the Turner Centre has to do with it, Dr Moores, is quite simple.

You said earlier that you had repeated the story about the gay couple convicted of child abuse because a few people had raised it in recent posts.

Far more people have been raising the issue of the £8m spent on the Turner Centre and presenting serious questions about where this money has gone. The fact that the questions are sitting there unanswered demonstrates that it has not been "done to death" as you suggest, or at least not with answers emerging. Surely you should have picked up on that, rather than this story, and used it as a basis for your next interview with SS. That was the point.

Your attitude seems to support the suggestion, made twice in this strand today by different people (as your checks will show), that you chose "gay child abuse" because you thought it might whip up some extreme, hostile and homphobic comment and reaction. You must indeed be very disappointed. You'll have to try immigration again, won't you?.

Anonymous said...

12.48pm seems upset by Old Codger's comments.
I see nothing wrong in Social Services insisting that gay couples look after opposite gender children as foster carers. I would be unhappy if my daughter's school informed me that a male teacher was supervising the girls' showers after games or is that now acceptable as long as he is gay?

If Old Codger is inaccurate, ill-informed and unfounded, I would like to know why or is it just dismissal of a view that is not shared 12.48pm?

Anonymous said...

Sadly, but accurately, there is little chance of getting a fuller answer out of Sandy Ezekiel on this subject than those you already have listed, because this is KCC money and a KCC project, in the main, and he will have little or no more information at the moment than has been discussed. i repeat, TDC's contribution directly to this project is the value of the land, around 900,000 pounds transferred to KCC for the project to go ahead. The rest is down to KCC and will be up for scrutiny in due course.

Chris Wells
KCC Member, Margate and Cliftonville

Anonymous said...

6.49 a very sensible solution. I personally am not comfortable with gays fostering or adopting but I readily concede I am a dinosaur. However the real problem for me is how the victim culture ensures that predators can often carry on unharrased by the authorities. They know that if challenged they can wail "human rights" "diversity" etc. the usual mantra of the "opressed" and social services will run away. We have made a rod for our own backs. I liken it to the scandal over Victoria Climbie the illegal immigrant child murdered by her "aunt" and the aunt's drug addicted deadbeat boyfriend. Doctors pointed out their worries to social services when they had the girl in hospital but nothing was done because social services were terified of being accused of racism. I don't see things getting any better either.

James Maskell said...

I think its basically crap to suggest that gay people are going to be anymore of a risk to foster children than heterosexuals. How are gay people more likely to do sexual abuse? I normally agree with you Old Codger but I think your views on this issue are pretty out-dated.

Anonymous said...

I normally disagree with you, Mr Maskell, but on this I heartily endorse your sentiments.

Old Codger said...

James, I make no apology about my views being outdated. I was alarmed that social services involved with the pederast carers ignored reports of photographs taken of the boys in care, whilst scantily clothed and using the toilet. Whilst bending over backwards to not to be seen being discriminatory against its homesexual carers the Social Services involved missed a clear indication of abuse and young vulnerable boys suffered. Having come across homosexual pornography in the 70s prior to the gay liberation, what surprised me was the almost pre-puberty nature of most of it. The court reports at the time always seemed to list batchelor scoutmasters, choirmasters and vicars as molesters of young men. I am not suggesting in any way that homosexuals are necessarily a greater risk to children in care than heterosexuals. What annoys me intensely is that any adverse comment on gay matters is aggresively attacked as homophobic, outdated, reactionary...etc. Quite clearly evil people come in all guises and that includes homosexuals as well.

James Maskell said...

Comments like the ones above are very outdated and are, with all due respect, suggesting you feel homosexuals are greater risk to vulnerable children than heterosexuals, which is unprovable. I think you are in a minority on this one.

Anonymous said...

"My Mum made me a homosexual"

"Oooh! If I gave her the wool would she make me one?"


Sorry.

Doreen Potts (Mrs) said...

I was having my feet done when you wrote that "Anonymous of 4.54". It has made me smile, mind so did having my feet done, but my son Terry -who is gay, bless him - said that it's been doing the rounds for years. But as they say, the old ones are the best!

I must say although I'm probably the same vintage as you, Old Codger, I don't hold with your views. My Terry brings lots of his friends home here and they're all lovely. None of them would go in for the sorts of things you've talked about - do you know just reading your message made me bring back my mid-morning cheese and crackers. My Terry - he'll be 35 next months - prefers older, heavily built men. And he loves animals. He says he really likes bears.