Speeded up adoption in England, any thoughts...?
High speed adoption, not what we all want to see here. 1 in 5 adoptions fail, I'm unclear how speeding up the process and making it easier for those who would otherwise be considered unsuitable is really going to help. But I remain open minded. To me a more stable foster care system where children don't get shuffled between up to 40 different home ought to be the priority, with greater use the Special Guardianship Orders introduced by the previous government in its Adoption and Children Act 2002 an idea that does not seem to have been taken up as it should. SGO could be used as a forerunner to adoption if everything works out
I'm not sure how our new "Adoption Tzar" (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-14063875 ) thinks persuading pregnant teenagers to shun abortion and put their child up for adoption is going to help when it so hard to find homes for the 15,000 + children already trapped in the care system
I can only think that adoption is a nice little earner for Mr Narey's ex employers Barnardo's whereas abortion is not so lucrative
- Login to post comments
- 2560 reads
Totally agree, and then some
Good to see you Robin! As you know, I try to follow UK's adoption system as much as I can and I admit, I have found the latest reports more than a little alarming, for the same reasons you state:
I think the 2009 report, Children in care: how Britain is failing its most vulnerable, gives a fair look at the big pro-adoption word "permanency". Big word, with lots of connotations. Note how adoption is supposed to solve the problems related to multiple placements. But as cases like The Spry children, the Newcombe kids, and one of my personal favs, the girls loaned for sex in Manchester prove, nothing is done to ensure the "permanently" placed children are monitored appropriately and SAFE. What good is reducing moves, if the final home is where the adopted child meets the worst of all fates?
But if you notice, the requests for reform are PAP-centric, as they often are when reforms are made.
I think most PAPs forget there are pedophiles and those with dangerous fanatical religious beliefs approved to foster and adopt. Children need to be protected from such unsafe freaks. But who is going to watch out and monitor these children? Social workers familiar with the foster-adoption system? And how often are these children and homes going to be checked, if all mandatory SW visits end once the adoption becomes final?
A plaguing problem in both the US and the UK is inappropriate and ineffective social worker intervention and involvement, but try telling this to those both desperate and anxious to adopt.... who also want to be free from unwanted scrutiny and SW supervised visits.
The response from APs often contains the same words and tune -- the adoption process is already too long and too invasive. Boo hoo.
Add imposed adoption targets and a policy adviser like Mr Let's Put More Children In-Care Narey, (who seems to prefer infants/babies for the adoption-block) we have a system that is doomed to fail more children than it will protect and
spare...um, save(?).... from institutions, like mental health facilities and prisons. Ironic, given Narey's previous professional position.
Bottom line, I still don't see how adoption itself is going to cure a faulty foster care system, where abuse and neglect is still rampant, and I sure as hell don't see how a more speedy adoption process will fix serious problems that have been allowed to continue.
All of this has largely arisen from the government's responce to the Munro Report http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/safeguarding/a0077182...
Speedy and rigorous don't really go together do they? To be fair many of the staunchest critics of the proposal are social workers working at coal-face of fostering and adoption. There was a mantra often chanted during the passage of the Adoption and Children Bill that, 'every child has a right to a family, no one has a right to adopt a child', and that I agree with. I corresponded with Tim Loughton when he was in opposition and a member of the committee on that Bill, he seems to have changed his tune rather now he has the post of Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Young Families. http://www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/letters/a0075535/tim-loughton-resp... If we are to have adoption, and our system is not be as disaterous as that in the US, then it really does have to be geared to the needs of those children for whom there is no better alternative, and not geared the needs of those adults who see it as a way of starting or completing their family
Unfortunately the system of post adoption support introduced by the Blair government is underfunded and something of a post-code lottery, so when adoptive parents do seek support it is not always forthcoming. If we are going to have more adoption then we really must have mandatory long-term follow-up to ensure there are no more cases like those above
I'm not seeing very much public debate going on the net about this in England, so I'm trying to raise awareness a little by posting on a few sites. Nice to be back by the way, glad to see PPL is still going strong keep it up Kerry and thanks for the links
More opinion on Narey proposals
Some more opinions on Martin Narey as "Adoption Tsar", from the Guardian, generally considered the social worker's newspaper here in the UK
"his views have offended social workers and been criticised as too simplistic"
""wading under-qualified into a highly complex area and producing a reactionary, simplistic take on it"
and from Jean Milsted at Norcap
There's certainly not a 100% backing for Martin Narey's proposals amongst social workers, his support comes mainly from politicians with no more understanding of the realities of adoption than Mr Narey and who are keen to find the cheapest solution for the problem of children in care, rather than the best for each individual child. I think the only thing everyone agrees on is that current child care / protection system is a tragic mess
An unfortunate universal truth
Wow, Robin, you really nailed the biggest problem behind much needed appropriate reform... excuse my inserted bracketed edit:
Couple this limited knowledge and understanding with beloved acolytes found within the government system, like
The fallacy that reform and modern-day interventions are for a child's best interest is just that... a fallacy promoted by those who benefit from a career in politics. [America is full of 'em!]
Children's minister Edward Timpson's spin on speedy-delivery
In the article, Adoption red tape to be removed, posted today (September 18, 2012), children's minister Edward Timpson wants to point to "pointless paperwork that leaves foster carers and adopters "exasperated" ' and states such delays in the adoption process need to be put to an end.
He claims he wants the process related to the permanant (unsupervised) placement to be as hassle-free as possible.
Good news for the likes of adopters who can't wait to be left alone to do as they wish to and with their fostered/adopted children.
See BAAF's most over-looked poster-board examples of quality care <cough, choke, sputter> found in SW approved foster/adoptive home settings found for foundlings in the UK:
...just to name a few featured on PPL. [Surely there are more cases that have not reached the media, or this side of the pond.]