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Council Puts Ban on Foster Carers Smoking

Posted Nov 06 2008 7:21am

Smokers in one London borough are going to be banned from becoming foster carers.

Councillors in north-east London, voted unanimously for the ban at a cabinet meeting, to protect children from the dangers of passive smoking.

And already a council in Essex said it may follow suit, raising fears it may become harder to find loving homes for children.

Redbridge cabinet member for children’s services, said: ‘We know this is a difficult issue because some people will feel it is an intrusion on personal freedoms.’

‘But we also know that smoking increases the risk of serious illness in childhood.’

‘There may be exceptional cases, and we will support and encourage foster carers who want to give up.’

‘But the bottom line is we must put the welfare of young children in our care first.’

Children in this area will not be placed with foster carers who smoke after January 2010 and existing foster carers will be given practical help and support to give up.

However, charity the Fostering Network has expressed concerns the policy could prevent good foster carers from coming forward.

A spokesperson said: ‘We certainly view this as a good move in terms of creating a smoke-free environment for a child, but we don’t agree that a blanket ban on any smokers becoming foster carers is the right thing.’

A spokesperson said: ‘We certainly view this as a good move in terms of creating a smoke-free environment for a child, but we don’t agree that a blanket ban on any smokers becoming foster carers is the right thing.’

The majority of fostered children consulted were in favour of the ban. During a consultation in September, 11 out of 17 children said they would discourage their family and friends from smoking.

It can only be a positive action to encourage people to stop smoking right! What do you think?

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