Debate needed

07:10 26 January 2013

In his thought-provoking letter (January 17), Pastor Lee Emerson makes a number of interesting points.

One area he addresses is parenting ability.

I would like to offer some thoughts based on 30 years of professional child welfare experience.

For 14 years, I worked as assistant director in Scotland with Barnardos, a major children’s charity with a Christian tradition.

One of my responsibilities was to make the agency decisions about who would make a suitable adopter or foster parent, and which child to match with them.

The children to be placed were often the literally hundreds of youngsters that local authorities themselves had found too difficult to place.

Barnardos was able to recruit some quite remarkable carers.

Against the odds, they gave very needy children a positive and successful parenting experience.

We recruited people of different faiths and people of no faith.

We recruited families with experience of children and families without previous experience.

We recruited single carers. We had carers who were heterosexual and we had gay carers.

The point was not which of the above pigeonholes these successful carers fell into.

Rather, it was about whether they had parenting ability.

It is quite wrong to conclude that gay people are intrinsically inferior parents.

Mr Emerson does ask a perfectly legitimate general question about whether some children are short-changed by parents who selfishly put their own needs ahead of those of their children.

Undoubtedly some do and undoubtedly some would like to be better parents, but don’t know how.

A full public debate about what constitutes “good enough parenting” is long overdue.

That debate also needs to include two key questions: first, how we enable people to acquire an acceptable level of parenting skills, and how they are supported in this hugely important task; and secondly, what should we do if parenting is still not “good enough”.

Alan Swift

Via email

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:30

A new housing development on the edge of Budleigh Salterton could be named after a ‘pillar of the community’.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

An Exmouth scout group is to receive a financial boost, thanks to a new district council initiative.

Read more
Fri, 12:30

Board members of Rolle Exmouth Ltd (REL) last week said goodbye to the former college campus they had fought tirelessly to preserve for future generations.

Read more
Fri, 10:21

A dog which was last seen running into the sea on Exmouth beach is still missing.

Read more
Fri, 10:15

Fire crews were called to attend a road traffic collision in Clyst St George.

Read more
Fri, 06:30

A series of information events will bring Exmouth residents up to speed with changes to recycling collections in the town.

Read more
Thu, 18:30

Exmouth Cares – the charity shop behind Mona Island, Exeter Road which supports the local Alzheimer’s group – is holding a Christmas event this Saturday (December 10), 10am to 4pm.

Read more
Thu, 15:41

Darren Legge, aged 49, from Exmouth, has been jailed for attacking a woman outside a pub

Read more
Thu, 14:27

A jealous ex boyfriend has been ordered to pay compensation to a victim who he attacked after learning he had kissed his former partner.

Read more
Thu, 13:04

Exmouth lifeboat volunteers were called out to help a fisherman who lost his oar yesterday afternoon.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Competitions
Photo Orders
Family notices
iwitness24
Google Plus
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications