News In Focus
Councils to ban smokers from fostering and adopting
Three councils in Scotland are to ban smokers from fostering or adopting babies and young children.
Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils have proposed the ban to protect babies and children from the effects of passive smoking, which include an increased risk of cot death. However, a children's charity has warned that such a move could make it harder for local authorities to find loving homes for children.
Margaret Anderson, the head of services for children and families at Falkirk Council, said they were pushing ahead with the proposed ban because this had been recommended by the British Association for Adoptiuon and Fostering and the Fostering Network. She added that in her experience, very few propspective adoptive and foster parents were smokers. The council is to decide on the ban at a committee meeting next week.
Margaret Mellon, spokeswoman for Children 1st Scotland, said the proposed smoking ban made it look as if councils were judgingparents, rather than protecting children and that loving parents could agree not to smoke in the home.