Wednesday 22 May 2024

Why is John Role’ being removed from Appogg?


I have just been informed by several foster parents that the worst possible thing to happen to fostering in Malta has happened – John Role’, the man who made it all happen, is being removed from his post.  I have checked this information with several people and as far as I can tell it is true.

I don’t know what the internal politics of all this are, and I really don’t care, but this will be a devastating blow for the children involved and to the foster parents who so selflessly take on this challenging role.  I am in touch with several of them and I know for a fact that it is only sheer perseverance and love of the children whom they are raising, that keeps them going when they are made to jump through hoops for every little thing. Throughout all this John Role’ has been their beacon of light.

But I will let the foster parents speak for themselves:

I am disgusted, shocked and very sad at the news that John Role, leader of the fostering team inside Appogg has been taken off his position. A man who dedicated his life to helping children in need. A good man with a great heart who is always there for others. He knows each and every child by name, has known them since they were born. My mentor for many years, teaching me ways to understand the difficulties these children in care face, teaching me compassion, love & respect for those who are suffering. This is one great INJUSTICE and I hope all foster carers on the island including all the children rise up and voice their concern about this shameful, unjust, undeserved decision. Let us show Malta that John Role’ is loved and we need him to lead the fostering team!”

Another parent voiced similar thoughts:

“John knows every single child’s name and those of the parents and foster parents, and their history.  That’s the kind of person that should be making decisions for these children and for me when the decision was taken for him not to sit on the Board it was a bad, bad mistake as no one else knows these children as he does.”

The Minister for Social Policy Michael Farrugia should be ashamed for letting this happen (I cannot think what reason there could possibly be), and this decision needs to be reversed now. Throwing away the talents of such a dedicated man is a despicable act especially if it’s being done simply to place someone in his stead who cannot possibly measure up.  No one else has John’s experience in this sector, and that’s a fact. Without John Role’ to turn to many foster parents will simply give up, and any hope for encouraging others to foster will be lost.

Ultimately, it will be the children in care who will suffer, and if that is something the Minister (or whoever took this decision) can live with, then their hearts must be made of stone.


Following the collection of 890 signatures in less than 24 hours and pressure from public opinion (especially foster carers), the decision was reversed and Mr Role’ was reinstated.