A FOSTER parent who could barely speak English has been axed after it was revealed she referred to a disabled boy as “it.”
The Asian woman was allowed to take in children by Birmingham City Council for years despite having no formal education and poor command of English.
And a tribunal has now upheld a move to strike her off a register of carers over fears for the emotional welfare of youngsters in her care.
She repeatedly referred to one foster child as “it” instead of his real name, despite repeated warnings, the hearing was told.
Her habit led the lad to “freeze” when he saw her and made him reluctant to return home from school.
Birmingham City Council removed her from its list of foster carers after inspectors were tipped off and also axed her from the childminder’s register.
The Ofsted watchdog said she was unsuitable for work as a childminder – and the First-Tier Tribunal has now agreed and rejected her appeal against the decision.
Judge Helen Clarke said there were credible accounts of the woman’s “inappropriate” use of the word “it” when referring to her foster son.
The woman – who cannot be named – was struck off after the boy was removed from her care amid fears he was “at risk of harm” following an Ofsted probe.
Judge Clarke said she had shown during the hearing that her command of the English language was unacceptable.
Even her husband, who represented her before the judge during the hearing, accepted that her English was “poor”.
He said he had tried to correct her when she called the boy “it”, but said she had had no formal education and found grammar difficult.
Judge Clarke threw out the appeal after concluding the woman would struggle to communicate with children and their parents, except in “the most basic terms”.
It meant she would fail to understand a child’s complex emotional, medical or educational needs and be unable to read medicine labels or call 999 effectively in an emergency.
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The judge said: “The tribunal considers that her inability to read English and her limited vocabulary must impact on her ability to play and engage with the children.
“She is unable to read with them or play games which involve the written word and this in turn could impact on the children’s welfare and wellbeing.”
“The fact that a complaint or incident has thankfully not occurred does not negate the risk.”
The tribunal heard the woman, who cannot be identified, had been registered as a childminder for 19 years before she was suspended in 2015.
The case echoed the title of a best-selling book “A Child Called It”, by Dave Pelzer, which described a lad’s torture ordeal at the hand of his cruel mum, though there is no suggestion the Birmingham lad was in any way abused.