Updated BASW statement on Rotherham council's removal of three children from a foster couple:
The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has welcomed the announcement by Rotherham council that it does not view membership of a political party as an automatic bar on someone fostering children.
The Association is also pleased to hear the local authority's assessment that the three children removed from a previous placement on the grounds of the foster parents' political affiliation are considered to be "safe and in very good care".
Responding to the update from the leader of Rotherham council Roger Stone, BASW professional officer Nushra Mansuri said:
"BASW has been clear from the beginning that without additional information and insight into the wider context the decision to remove these children because of the foster parents' membership of a political party was difficult to understand and not an appropriate reason for causing more upheaval to their lives.
"Our concern is that such a case, inevitably lacking a complete picture of the basis for the decision, for reasons of confidentiality, could undermine the position of social workers across the country who are making difficult decisions about what they feel is in the best interests of children in very often complex circumstances.
"We must not allow the facts as presented in the media to be regarded as the norm in how social workers and children's services departments act across the whole country.
"The issue of a child's ethnic heritage is an important consideration in any decisions made about children and about fostering, as this factor can make a difference to the chances of securing a successful placement and supporting children in often traumatic circumstances. In turn, a willingness on the part of foster parents to respect the culture and background of a child in their care is extremely important."