Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Smokers banned from foster caring

smoker
Smokers will not be able to foster children under three from next month

Smokers in Falkirk will not be able to foster children under three from next month - unless there are "exceptional circumstances".

Council members voted to implement the ban to meet guidelines outlined by the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).

The ban follows similar moves in Perth, Dundee and South Lanarkshire.

The council said the policy resulted from research showing smoke could cause cancer and respiratory disease.

From December, the local authority will ban smokers from being carers where a child is under three years of age.

This will be extended to all those under five by December next year.

People who have the right skills and qualities to be a foster carer should not be put off from coming forward to care for older children if they have the occasional cigarette
Fostering Network

The ban will also apply to carers where children of any age suffer a disability, respiratory or heart problems.

Youngsters who come from non-smoking households will also be prevented from living with smokers

Existing foster carers in the area will be asked to quit and given support and information to do so.

Smoke free

The local authority said it intends to be fully compliant with the BAAF guidelines by December 2009.

There are currently 244 children in the Falkirk area who need foster or adoptive parents.

That number compares with just 172 for August 2006.

Janet Birks, director of social work services, said: "This isn't a blanket ban. The policy applies to placements involving children under the age of five and children considered high risk.

"It also makes provision for exceptional circumstances.

"The new policy is based on overwhelming medical evidence as well as advice from BAAF and is consistent with the views expressed by the Fostering Network, who represent the views of foster carers."

A spokesman for the Fostering Network denied the ban would affect the number of carers.

He said: "We don't think the move by Falkirk Council will have an impact on the shortage of foster carers.

"People who have the right skills and qualities to be a foster carer should not be put off from coming forward to care for older children if they have the occasional cigarette.

"We do expect all foster carers to provide a smoke-free environment. The dangers of passive smoking are well documented, and foster carers should not smoke in front of children - their health must always come first."

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Council tells carers to stub out
04 Jun 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Criticism of smoker adoption ban
07 Jun 07 |  Hampshire
Home smoke ban for council visits
18 Jun 07 |  Merseyside

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific