Family’s Shock At Foster Snub
A caring couple were in despair after claiming an off-the-cuff remark about “white foreigners” had sunk their dream of becoming foster parents. David Mott and his wife Sarah were on their way to a key four-day induction workshop with social services experts when they were held up by a road accident. Mr Mott (43) claims that his explanation for being late dropped him in trouble with a social worker involved in assessing them to take a child under their roof, when he said the accident involved “white foreigners” who looked like eastern Europeans.
Mr Mott, of London Road, Chatteris, said he believed the casual remark was the reason he and Sarah (40), who have three children of their own, including a disabled son, were turned down. Mr Mott, a self-employed expert on fishing tackle, helps Sarah care for son Jason (21), who was left brain damaged after being in a car crash as a baby. They received a letter from Peterborough Social Services saying “the risk David could potentially pose by making inappropriate comments during his fostering career was too great.”
The letter also said he had “a negative attitude towards eastern Europeans and a lack of understanding.”
Mr Mott, who is also dad to Jamie (20) and Bethany (14) said: “It was like a kick in the teeth. I took it personally. I felt I let everyone who knows me down. I am not racist. I have Asian friends and a Greek doctor saved my son’s life after the car crash, so how could I be?”
Mrs Mott said: “We wanted to foster for years. It was heartbreaking when we found out we couldn’t. We have a large home, and lots of time, patience and love to give. Whatever procedure they had, we would have gone through. It’s the children who are missing out.”
Appealing for the council to change its mind, Bethany said: “My dad would have been the best foster carer any child could have asked for. He treats every person the same, whatever their race.”
However, Peterborough City Council spokesman Mike Lennox said suggestions that the decision was inspired by political correctness were “silly, foolish and unfounded”. He said: “The adoption and fostering team at the city council believes that David and Sarah Mott did not have the characteristics and skills required to be foster parents for a number of reasons, including those mentioned by Mr Mott. The process to become foster parents is necessarily robust, and we are naturally disappointed that Mr and Mrs Mott have not taken advantage of our suggestion that he makes a written request to have his assessment reviewed by someone outside the city council’s fostering team.
“Mr and Mrs Mott have considerable experience as parents, but we believe additional skills are needed in order to be successful as foster parents. We remain willing to have their case reviewed by someone outside our team if they want to write to us.”
City MP Stewart Jackson said he was “appalled” by the case, and would be writing to the council. He said: “The main concern should be finding a suitable and happy home for a child, not worshipping at the altar of political correctness.”
There are currently 316 children in foster homes in Peterborough.