Express & Star

Star comment: Children in care should be given the best chances

Children in care are being placed in parts of the country that are far from their local communities.


Vulnerable youngsters therefore find themselves in situations in which they feel even more isolated and without the sort of stability that they need.

It is understandable that a small minority are placed away from harm, in areas where they cannot be reached by those who have a negative effect on their lives and wellbeing.

However, placing children in far-distant environments ought to be the exception to the rule, a policy that is only brought into play in extremsis.

We all know that familiarity frequently brings comfort and that is as true for youngsters as it is for adults. Placing youngsters far from their surrounds means they have to learn to fit in all over again, and may be more likely to be bullied because of their points of difference.

Indeed, there have been horror stories in the past of children in care being groomed by sex gangs or used to participate in criminal activity. Worse still, there are plenty of reports of children simply going missing.

As a society we owe it to all children to be given a chance in life and those placed in care should be given every opportunity to progress and develop into adulthood. They should have the best pastoral support around them as authorities look to replace the love and support that they have not received from their parents.

At the very least, that means, allowing them geographic access to family and friends – and not shunting them to a distant part of the UK where their prospects of a happy, stable life become worse. We must support, not write off and make matters worse.


Len Goodman went from barrow boy to TV superstar. His story was a classic tale of rags to riches and should go as a lesson to all of what can be achieved with talent and a great deal of hard work. He represented great British family TV entertainment and, with the recent loss of Paul O’Grady, we’ve had to say goodbye to two of the greats.

Len was a figure who unified and was as popular among young children as he was with grannies and grandpas. He was accessible, clean, wholesome - and had a wonderful sense of a humour. A man with a larger-than-life personality, he brought pizzazz and sparkle to the TV screens and into our homes.

He is gone too soon and will be much missed, though he leaves behind a remarkable legacy. He helped to popularise dancing, bringing better health and considerable joy to millions.