Vow To Stop ‘Social Work Snatch Squads’

The Shadow Health Secretary has promised that a Tory government would stop “snatch squads of social workers” taking children into care unnecessarily. Andrew Lansley said a Conservative government would instead back the family. The father-of-five used the party conference in Bournemouth to start a debate on how public services work for children.

He attacked Prime Minister Tony Blair and Social Exclusion Minister Hilary Armstrong’s suggestion that the state and social workers should identify potential problem children soon after or even before birth to support the families and in extreme cases take the babies into care.

And he also capitalised on Education Secretary Alan Johnson’s admission to the Labour conference that too often the state was not a good parent to children in care and action needed to be taken. He said: “Children matter to us, first and foremost. The education they receive, their health, that they get the opportunities in life we enjoyed and more.

“One of our aims will be to support the family and marriage as the best environment in which to bring up children.

“Mr Blair appears to believe that snatch squads of social workers, taking children into care, is preferable to putting every effort in to support children to stay with their family. He is wrong. The state is a poor parent.”