Sheffield couple turned down as foster carers because spare bedroom was “too small”
Steven and Kylie Cocker had applied to be foster parents and completed the introduction and assessment process with Sheffield City Council, only to be told that the third bedroom in their semi-detached home was not large enough.
The couple already have two sons of their own, aged five and two.
Mr Cocker, 27, works as a cutler. He told the paper:
“We were shocked. It was the only reason we were given. The council said there wasn’t enough room for a bed, clothes, and a child to spend time – but we were hoping to take a little child up to the age of six. Our house belonged to my grandma, and my mum grew up in the very same bedroom until she was 21!”
Mrs Cocker, 23, lived with foster parents from the ages of 11 to 18 after being taken into care.
Mr Foster explained:
“We wanted to offer a home to a child under six so they would be close in age to our own two. And, because my wife has been in care, she wanted to change things for another looked-after child….Our reason for rejection seems to give a lot of emphasis to a bedroom and not to a child. We were offering a place in our family, not just our house. That’s what every child in care wants.”
There are currently 538 children in care in the South Yorkshire city, most living with foster carers, The Star reports.
Council spokesman Jon Banwell said:
“It’s really important we follow regulations to the letter when it comes to potential foster families and homes. What is right for our own families isn’t necessarily right for a looked-after child. Regulations are much stricter, because it’s someone else’s child. Unfortunately not everyone makes it, but that shouldn’t stop potential carers coming forward. Becoming a foster carer can be truly rewarding. I would encourage everyone thinking about it to come forward.”
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
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