This tiny island keeps disappointing us big time on certain matters! I mean, come on… what on Earth is this proposal? Are we serious?
In Parliament, there was a discussion on the draft law on the protection of minors. Michael Falzon, the Minister for Family and children’s rights said that there are currently 450 children on care order, half of them in foster care, while the other half in children’s homes. Falzon declared that his wish was for the number of children in homes to be nil. Well, up until there we are on the same page… BUT!
Following this, the Government came out with a number of proposals to amend the law, inter alia where the care order will be issued by the Court and no longer by the Minister. Also, Falzon said that couples who are fostering, may make a request for adoption after five years.
We can agree with those two proposals, especially the latter. We have met fostering parents and whilst they give their all to the children they are fostering, many felt they were not appreciated and almost threatened by lack of law to protect them.
However, for some reason beyond what our intelligence can fathom, a proposal for the removal of the obligation on everyone to report abuse was mentioned!!! It looks like it will only be the professionals working in the field of children who will be obliged to report suspicions of abuse on children while they will not be subject to any legal action for any bona fide action. Are we serious!?!?!? Is this how dedicated to child protection we are willing to be?