Soon signs in London will read “Thank You For Not Fostering Children.” This week, a council in London became the first city to mandate that smokers cannot foster children. Redbridge Council’s cabinet agreed Tuesday night to a ban on placing children with foster carers who smoke absent exceptional circumstances. Anti-smoking advocates are seeking to expand the mandate to other areas of London and other cities.
The ban will go into force in 2010 and is based on the “damaging effects of passive and second-hand smoke.”
The Fostering Network, a foster child charity, argues that no child under five should be placed with carers who smoked.
If this mandate expands, it will raise the interesting question of whether cities should be liable for placements with smoking foster parents. These groups are citing a lot of research showing harm caused by second-hand smoke.
The ban obviously rejects the notion that smokers can simply pledge not to smoke in the house.
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