The responses to my post re unaccompanied children coming to the UK are too important to risk being lost in the comments section, so I'm starting a new thread, giving space to both the comments and my replies.
The simple fact of these cases is that there is a strict legal requirement on Social Services to ENSURE the wellbeing of these minors. In fact all Government agencies have very very strict minors care systems in addition to the legal requirements in place. If you and others believe this is not the case in this instance then this should be highlighted immediately to the Government Minister responsible for Social Services via your local MP.
This and Lehane's previous comment casting doubt on the facts (and I can assure everyone that I would not have posted them if I hadn't been certain they are facts) took me by surprise. My post was about these children's lack of eligibility to free school meals. It never occurred to me that anyone would question the reality of these children's experience.
I acknowledge the practical problems associated with dealing with unaccompanied children. What are the alternatives - bearing in mind the existing pressures on social services and the lack of suitable foster parents or places in children's homes?
Social Services have many 'legal requirements' - but we all know there are gaping holes in delivery through which children fall, often with tragic consequences, as Minx pointed out in her comment:
Social services are hideously under-staffed and there are not the facilities to house people who do not come under 'normal' bounds.
I agree that it should not be happening but also know that there are massive holes in the system that allow such things to pass un-noticed. That is, of course, until there is some dreadful tragedy which brings the whole matter to light.
I find the situation in which these children find themselves desperately sad - but I despair to think there are people who would deny their reality exists. Even the Home Secretary conceded the system is failing when he declared his department 'not fit for purpose'.
Lehane's next point:
However, let's not forget that these children are now going to school, have a roof over their head, are being fed and SHOULD be getting all the support expected for a minor...something they would have not been getting wherever they have fled from. It's easy to condemn the failings in a system, but these failings are actually a massive improvement on what they have come from.
Yes, there can be no doubt that anything would be an improvement on what these children endured before coming here. The very definition of the word 'refugee' is 'one who seeks refuge' - often from unspeakable horror. But this is dangerous thinking. Taken to its logical conclusion, almost any kind of ill treatment or neglect could be justified as a 'massive improvement on what they have come from'.
As for not 'condemning the failings' (failings which previously had been strenuously denied earlier in the comment) how else do you try to change things for the better if not by pointing out injustice whenever and whereever you see it?
And, I can assure you, these children never made it to the UK alone ...
Aaaaaggghhh!!! How do you know this about these particular children? And if you don't mean them in particular, I think it's really important in a debate this important to choose your words with care so there's no possibility of misunderstanding. These children are not in a position to defend themselves or tell us their experiences in their own words!
... in many many cases there are "hidden" adult family members working the system to their own benefit, whilst the bleeding hearts fall over themselves to protest against those actually trying to support these children.. There are agents and facilitators that have brought them here, being paid for by families in the originating country and the extended and hidden families here.
I accept that you see a different side to this issue and don't doubt the situation you depict exists. You say 'many many cases'. How many? What proportion? Even if you say it's 50% (and I would need to see concrete evidence to support such a figure) that would still mean 5 out of every 10 children who are completely isolated having survived unimaginable horrors.
And as Minx says:
However these children came to be in this situation is irrelevent, as is trying to shut ones eyes and think that it can't possibly happen.
Back to Lehane:
It's easy to be outraged when you only see and get one side to a story...whether it be the Daily Mail or the Guardian/Independent headline viewpoint on the conflicting extremes.
But what you're giving out here is the standard Daily Mail line! Everyone's out to get us; they're all spongers wanting to exploit the system for their own ends; whatever we do is more than they'd get back home; the 'bleeding hearts' should just shut up. Oh - and the Guardian and Independent espouse radical extremism!
But I have to say, and I hate having to say it, this post is dangerously misleading in making people think refugee minors are left to fend for themselves and to their own devices in the UK, as the first comment from crimeficreader proves. Nothing could be further from the truth and if it is happening, as you assure here, heads would roll and prosecutions likely to take place. Surely that responsibility lies with you now to ensure action?
I have misled no one! The children in FB's school are one example of some of the appalling treatment meted out to genuine refugees. I know personally of people, adults and children, who have been subjected to levels of inhumanity and injustice in this country that I consider sickening and shameful.
Your final sentence about responsibility is the only one with which I wholeheartedly agree. It is my responsibility and now it's the responsibility of everyone reading this.
I take my responsibilities very seriously indeed - which is why I'm backing the school in their support of these children and making sure I do all I can to publicise - not just their individual case - but also what they represent.
No hard feelings, Lehane! I've said before that I welcome debate. You espouse views I'd never normally be exposed to. It's only by allowing our perceptions to be challenged that we can see if they hold up.