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Complainant Name:
Councillor Marilyne Maclaren

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Daily Mail

Complaint:

Councillor Marilyne Maclaren, Convener of Education, Children and Families at City of Edinburgh Council, complained that the newspaper’s coverage of a controversial gay adoption case was inaccurate and misleading. In particular, the complainant argued that the mother’s version of events – specifically in regard to a telephone conversation between her and a social worker – had been presented as fact.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following letter from the complainant:

I would like to respond to your reporting of the adoption of two children in Edinburgh by a same-sex couple. At the heart of this matter are two vulnerable children who need stability and loving care, which we have been trying to secure for them. They are at a crucial stage in their lives.

Social workers only intervene in a family’s care of children where their welfare and safety are at stake. I have confidence in the Council’s staff and am proud of the work they do in circumstances that few of us would ever like to experience. The well-known problems in recruiting social workers should make it clear what a challenging role this is. Across the country, there are thousands of children who need fostering or adoption, and not nearly enough people able and willing to provide it.

The care of children has never been more regulated. The inspection of councils by independent bodies, along with due legal processes, provide the checks and balances that are needed. I welcome these measures, but find that often the full story is not considered and that individual social workers and potential carers are attacked without due cause.

Everyone involved in the care of children feels deeply about those tragic cases which are rightly reported. But there are many more that the public never see, where children’s lives have been improved or saved through the efforts of social workers. When the media have moved on to ‘new’ stories, they will still be trying to provide safety and security for hundreds of children who would otherwise face an incredibly difficult life, or even no life at all.

Report: 79



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