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Posted 12/09/2011 8:02:32 AM
Supreme Being

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A SIX-year-old boy placed in the care of a lesbian foster couple was dressed in girl's clothes and the humiliating pictures were posted on the couple's Facebook page.

One of the women was preparing for a sex change to become a man at the time, while her girlfriend was undergoing fertility treatment.

The boy and his 12-year-old sister have since been moved but former Children's Court magistrate Barbara Holborow yesterday called for a full inquiry into the decision to put them there. "Oh my God, what are we doing?" Ms Holborow, who has fostered eight children, said.

Families Minister Pru Goward has demanded a full explanation from child welfare service Barnardos, which had recruited the couple.

"I am seeking advice from Barnardos to confirm that care arrangements were appropriate and the wellbeing of the children was paramount," Ms Goward said yesterday.

The children's story, described as one of the saddest in the state, has been revealed in a Supreme Court judgment posted last month in Children's Law news compiled by the NSW Children's Court.

Their mother had tried but failed in the Supreme Court to win back custody of her son, given the pseudonym Campbell by the court.

His current foster parents want to adopt him.

Campbell was taken into care in November 2006 at the age of 18 months along with his four stepbrothers and two stepsisters after complaints of physical and mental abuse at the hands of the parents.

Campbell and his sister Abby, then 12, were placed with the lesbian couple in early 2009. The placement did not work out for Abby and after she was moved, Campbell was dressed in girl's clothes and his photograph placed on the couple's Facebook page.

Post #62309
Posted 13/09/2011 8:04:33 AM
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This is a very distressing case and a bad reflexion on all same sex couples It is sad to think that out society will go to great lengths to berate such situations but fail to worry about ALL the situations that caused these kids to be in jeopady in the first place. I am aware of Barnardos attitude towards same sex couple fostering and the extreme lengths they go to to ensure that their charges are in a secure safe enviroment. Their policy is to visit both carers and children weekly in the first months of placement and have regular monthly visits thereafter NOT just with the same sex couples but with ALL placements I know of many Gov dept foster carers who have never seen their case workers since the first day of placement and these carers are amazed at the amount of attention given to NGO placements . Yes we are a same sex couple and would be very wary of SOME couples ability to cope with dealing with many of these kids but we have something extra to prove over the couples that think fostering is just a way of earning extra income We are out to provide a family inviroment for a child who will grow up to be of benefit, not a burden  in our society .It is not about sexual preferences or conventualisms (if that is a word)  It is about bringing up a child with the appropiate life skills and standards . Please don't judge all couples on the ill actions of a few but be aware that human nature is such that errors in judgement do occur and that all actions need to be taken to prevent these where ever possible
Post #62381
Posted 13/09/2011 1:10:41 PM
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Hi Frank
Post #62395
Posted 13/09/2011 2:27:58 PM
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I don't like to comment on this story, not knowing all the facts, but I do know many same-sex couples who are responsible and sensitive parents and foster-parents.





Post #62398
Posted 13/09/2011 2:34:38 PM
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For me, its not about the same sex parents at all. I am a single parent and a foster parent and support families of all shapes and sizes contributing to raising children who need our care.

What I find disturbing was the fact that this was posted on Facebook.

What happened to the basic principle of dignity and respect for this child?

Frank, I'm a huge supporter of yours, and hope you didn't see my posting of the article as a comment on same sex parents.

Post #62399
Posted 13/09/2011 3:26:14 PM
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It certainly sounds pretty bad.

I don't post pics of my foster-daughter at all on Facebook although I know if you've got your privacy settings right it should only be seen by your own 'friends'. You have to assume in this case if it was reported then they just put it out there for anyone to see.

But this sounds quite weird - was he just playing dress ups or was her forcibly made to wear girls clothes? I know plenty of little boys who love dressing up in girls clothes.

Post #62402
Posted 14/09/2011 7:58:58 AM
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Hi Redleaves

Thankyou for clarifying your intentions with this post  I know your comments are for the good of all kids but I don't think it was necessary to put in the lesbian bit

For Me I wasn't able to sleep all night worrying about this situation If this child was not forced to wear the said clothing then I am in BIG trouble    My problem is that our son keeps a huge array of my old clothes Not that he does not have a stock pile of designer clothes himself but I have always felt privaledged that he likes to wear some of my old Lowes brand discarded garments If we try to throw out a bag of rags to Vinnies it gets raided before it gets to the front door  If we are going out and I put on a particular colour or type of garment Guess what?? He will be wearing something similar  I have always accepted it as a compliment that he feels more secure replicating my attire and hope that he will also follow my lead in displaying appropiate manners etc.My worry is now whether I am going to be in trouble because this child likes to dress up in the style of the one he feels a needed attachment to ???

I know a number of foster boys who have stowed away thier foster Mums clothing and either sleep with them or play dressups  Perhaps it is a bit more obvious when it is the opposite genders gear but I bet there are many who have a bigger collection of same gender clothing too. I know of no kids who have gone on to become transvestite or the like because of these practices but if I am wrong then I think I will have to go down to the local Police station and surrender myself or just wait for DOCS to turn up at my door andf remove our boy and place him in a less secure enviroment where he can transgress to being a social outcast Perhaps they should also place a booking in an institution for him for the rest of his life when he cannot handle the rejection

I agree that this couple where wrong in placing pictures on facebook and I know Barnardos are very strict on their policy of publication of photos etc but has this child really been advantaged by being taken to another placement??

P.S.  I didn't really lose any sleep!!!

Post #62420
Posted 14/09/2011 8:05:08 AM
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Frank, the only reason the 'lesbian' part was mentioned was because I posted the whole newspaper article - nothing more.

I do love to hear how your boy is going

Post #62421
Posted 14/09/2011 10:09:01 AM
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I have a brother who is 10 years younger than me. My sisters and I used to dress him as a girl all the time and Mum took photos. It was funny. We'd even put a flower behind his ear and call him "Dana" - the female equivalent of his name.

Now I have a little boy of my own who like my brother has three older sisters. They have also been known to dress him as a girl, complete with leotard and plastic tiara. I don't have any photos, but if I did I certainly wouldn't post them on Facebook as I know it would a) be there forever b) remove his rights and privacy c) probably embarrass him.

As a carer I would NEVER dress a child up. I would however probably take a photo if the child did it himself/herself. I wouldn't post it on Facebook. I don't know now that I'd include it with life story work for fear of what caseworkers may assume...

It's all becoming very hazy. The rules are different to what the beliefs of caseworkers are. I know there are different rules for every day of the week and these change in order to make lives easier.

I'm sad that the little boy has had to go to another home This is never a good solution, unless the child is seriously at risk, and I really hope he wasn't.
Post #62428
Posted 14/09/2011 11:19:40 AM
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I think the reason this made the newspapers was because of the lesbian/trans gender aspect so I think it is quite relevant to the discussion.

Has this been made such a big issue because of the sexual orientation of the foster carers? Would they have just been rapped on the knuckles if they weren't a same sex couple rather than having a child removed? Is it just a case of a little boy imitating his carers or was he forced?

It's obviously not good to post pics on Facebook but I would have thought usually a reprimand and some extra supervision would be sufficient.

Post #62432
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