Friday, 16 May 2014

The student's view.

These comments were shared with the ECLCM team by a social work student following a placement with a care provider. We show them exactly as they were made: 

‘THIS ISSUE (the differential treatment of children in foster and residential care) IS A CLEAR CUT EXAMPLE OF A SOCIALLY MORAL AND ETHICAL DILEMMA and the manner in which it is resolved will serve to determine our belief in democracy and equality of treatment.

As with any socially moral/ethical dilemma, the question of social justice can be raised and discussed. But, little needs to be said before drawing a conclusion that injustice is apparent in this case.

Ultimately, the life chances of the children in residential units will be stifled to a greater extent than those in foster care - it makes no logical sense that a child who generally presents with greater complexities and requires more attention is entitled to less supported years in care than a child in foster care, who will generally present as less complex and yet is entitled to more supported years in care.

In my humble opinion, there exists a clear case of discrimination against children who reside in residential units and a callous disregard towards their healthy growth and development which is being unjustifiably limited in comparison to their fostered counterparts.

We live in a socially unjust society characterised by oppression, segregation and marginalisation, making it increasingly difficult for disadvantaged children to claim a respectable stake in society. The least that can be done to alleviate this problem would be to show some compassion to the most vulnerable children in society who reside in residential units and offer them similar rights to those children in foster care. In the spirit of humanitarianism, this would be the moral and ethical way forward’.

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