Monday, June 18, 2012

The Lost Boys

I watched the Children's Minister, Tim Loughton, on Sky News this morning, as the deplorable state of the 'Looked-after Children Business' figured on today's 'Outraged' and 'shocked' headlines.

I've a lot of time for Tim, as I have worked with him once before and he's deeply committed to achieving positive outcomes in the face of overwhelming bureaucratic odds. He explained that he had been meeting with local MPs who were concerned at the 'dumping' of looked-after children far away from their point origin and expressed anger that some local authorities, no prizes for guessing which ones, are ignoring his instructions of a twenty-two mile limit and are depositing their vulnerable wards in already deprived and problematic areas like our own. He plans to take action and in the view of many of my colleagues, tomorrow wouldn't be soon enough!

I had an email from one of my readers this weekend, that perhaps sums-up what I see as an increasingly common level of concern, here in Thanet. I've had his permission to publish it with his identity removed.

"Dear Simon

I have followed reports on your blog about behaviour, drugs and London borough dumping with interest and not a little concern. Apart from the overall decline in standards at my daughter's school, there is an increasing trend for youngsters from the more violent and drug ridden world of some inner London boroughs to impact on the lives of our own children.

My daughter was with two friends in a Westgate after school, when approached by a group of unknown teenagers. These youngsters made conversation and one snatched my daughter's bag, rummaged through it and removed her new Blackberry, a sixteenth birthday present, and her purse. They then made off. Fortunately our daughter and her friends were not hurt, but very frightened by the experience.

Police enquiries led to a care home in Ramsgate though no prosecution followed due to identification difficulties as to who actually stole the items.

Only yesterday, two 14 year old German girls currently staying with us, were accosted by two youths, one black and one white, in Pierremont Park, Broadstairs with demands for money watches and phones. The two girls ran towards a group of other youngsters in the High Street whilst the young German boy with them, who had tried to assist, was being punched in the head by the two youths. Calling for help, our two visitors were greeted with "F**k off, Hitler" by the people they had turned to for assistance. Nonetheless, the three German youngsters all managed to get away down to the Baptist Church Hall where they were meeting up with their teachers with property intact, although the lad had a badly flushed and swollen face. Police attended though early days for any outcome."


Anonymous said...

The problem of youngsters in care, often those already in trouble with the authorities and excluded from school, can only be made worse by moving them to areas far removed from their homes.

The second part of the letter you publish, not only highlights the increasing numbers of attacks on young people by other youngsters, but also the increasing tendency for others to fail to assist those in need. Unless as a society we are prepared to stand together against the more villainous element, the future is indeed bleak.

Don said...

Unfortunatly we need to have children living away from their roots to hopefully enable them to safe from the problems and temptations that they have had. This brings about a whole remit of new problems the whole issue is as solvable as knitting fog. I can understand people wanting to sort it out but it is a whole can of worms and as soon as you think you know what to do for one child the gameplan has changed and this is going on all over the country ad thousands of individuals are involved each with different needs and requirements there is no one size fits all and that is the problem. Sorting out TDC's phobias is easy by comparison