Take away problem children, says MP

Author: By Dave Higgens, Press Association

Former housing minister Caroline Flint said she agreed with Martin Narey, the
chief executive of Barnardo’s, who called earlier this month for less focus
on “fixing families that can’t be fixed” and for social workers to be more
pro-active about removing children at risk.

Ms Flint is the MP for Don Valley, in South Yorkshire, which includes the
former pit village of Edlington, where a nine-year-old and an 11-year-old
were subjected to a series of horrific attacks by the two brothers in April.

The brothers have admitted offences including causing grievous bodily harm
with intent and are due to be sentenced later this year.

Today, writing in the Yorkshire Post, Ms Flint said: “Sadly some parents are
badly dysfunctional. No parent is perfect but some are hopeless, and even
cruel.”

The MP added: “I agree with Martin Narey, chief executive of Barnardo’s. In
some cases children should be removed sooner rather than later.”

Ms Flint said nothing could excuse what happened in Edlington but asked what
lessons can be learned.

She also highlighted the work of the charity Coram as a possible way forward
with children in problem families.

The MP said the charity links possible adoptive parents with children whose
futures are being decided by judges in family courts.

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