Sheffield couple turned down as foster carers because spare bedroom was “too small”

Children|Family|News|March 26th 2013

Sheffield Town HallA couple from Sheffield have been rejected as foster carers because their spare bedroom was “too small” for a young child, newspaper The Star reports.

Steven and Kylie Cocker had applied to be foster parents and completed the introduction and assessment process with Sheffield City Council, only to be told that the third bedroom in their semi-detached home was not large enough.

The couple already have two sons of their own, aged five and two.

Mr Cocker, 27, works as a cutler. He told the paper:

“We were shocked. It was the only reason we were given. The council said there wasn’t enough room for a bed, clothes, and a child to spend time – but we were hoping to take a little child up to the age of six. Our house belonged to my grandma, and my mum grew up in the very same bedroom until she was 21!”

Mrs Cocker, 23, lived with foster parents from the ages of 11 to 18 after being taken into care.

Mr Foster explained:

“We wanted to offer a home to a child under six so they would be close in age to our own two. And, because my wife has been in care, she wanted to change things for another looked-after child….Our reason for rejection seems to give a lot of emphasis to a bedroom and not to a child. We were offering a place in our family, not just our house. That’s what every child in care wants.”

There are currently 538 children in care in the South Yorkshire city, most living with foster carers, The Star reports.

Council spokesman Jon Banwell said:

“It’s really important we follow regulations to the letter when it comes to potential foster families and homes. What is right for our own families isn’t necessarily right for a looked-after child. Regulations are much stricter, because it’s someone else’s child. Unfortunately not everyone makes it, but that shouldn’t stop potential carers coming forward. Becoming a foster carer can be truly rewarding. I would encourage everyone thinking about it to come forward.”

Photo of Sheffield Town Hall by Chemical Engineer via Wikipedia 

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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