Take away problem children, says MP

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The MP for the village where brothers aged 10 and 11 tortured two young boys called today for children in some problem homes to be removed "sooner rather than later".

Former housing minister Caroline Flint said she agreed with Martin Narey, the chief executive of Barnardo's, who called earlier this month for less focus on "fixing families that can't be fixed" and for social workers to be more pro-active about removing children at risk.

Ms Flint is the MP for Don Valley, in South Yorkshire, which includes the former pit village of Edlington, where a nine-year-old and an 11-year-old were subjected to a series of horrific attacks by the two brothers in April.

The brothers have admitted offences including causing grievous bodily harm with intent and are due to be sentenced later this year.

Today, writing in the Yorkshire Post, Ms Flint said: "Sadly some parents are badly dysfunctional. No parent is perfect but some are hopeless, and even cruel."

The MP added: "I agree with Martin Narey, chief executive of Barnardo's. In some cases children should be removed sooner rather than later."

Ms Flint said nothing could excuse what happened in Edlington but asked what lessons can be learned.

She also highlighted the work of the charity Coram as a possible way forward with children in problem families.

The MP said the charity links possible adoptive parents with children whose futures are being decided by judges in family courts.