Adoption guidelines on race distract from system that is itself is suffering from neglect

Not much time passes these days without the Cameron government giving prominence to the importance of the family. The relative speed with which they have addressed the need to change the guidelines on interracial adoption is certainly to be welcomed.

Black and mixed race children wait three times longer than white children to be adopted. For too long social workers in the UK have been implementing what are effectively ghettoisation policies where children must be placed with a family of the same ‘culture’ despite the availability of a loving, stable home in another ‘culture’. Meanwhile they languish in foster care scrapping for a life, while edging closer to their ‘use by’ date, the point at which nobody will want to adopt them because they have become too ‘difficult’ and unlovable.

While the government’s shift on this is a step in the right direction, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Only one-fifth of children waiting for adoption are from minority ethnic families. Meanwhile we have an adoption system that itself is a victim of neglect. It is hard to see how any change can be implemented by social workers without the necessary training. Yes, at times their decisions border on the ridiculous but what is even more absurd in when the DfE points the finger of blame at these messengers and refuses to be accountable for its part in this inhumane and at times, immoral, circus.

If this wasn’t enough to deal with, the lack of any coherent government strategy means it’s about to get worse. Cash strapped councils have always known they can save money by keeping children in care rather than helping them towards adoption. The cuts they are now being forced to make will only exacerbate the situation. While money can be saved in the short-term, the long-term cost to a society that already cannot afford to care for its neglected children may well be greater than anything the government has budgeted for.


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  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Adoption guidelines on race distract from system that is itself is suffering from neglect
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Adoption guidelines on race distract from system that is itself is suffering from neglect
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Adoption guidelines on race distract from system that is itself is suffering from neglect
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Adoption guidelines on race distract from system that is itself is suffering from neglect
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Adoption guidelines on race distract from system that is itself is suffering from neglect
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Adoption guidelines on race distract from system that is itself is suffering from neglect
  • wp socializer sprite mask 16px Adoption guidelines on race distract from system that is itself is suffering from neglect
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1 Comment

  1. Great post, Francesca.

    Even MORE stupid is the way budgets work. They don’t (and should) follow the child. Otherwise there will be more Baby Peter and Victoria Climbié type cases.

    The Adoption Register is one (of a very limited number of systems) that really should be national…..and one day….international. The best match for each child – each and every child – that’s what matters. And that the process is QUICK once the decision to adopt is made – to maximise kids’ chances of a great match that will work.

    It’s inexcusable that so many children get left ‘on the shelf’ because of very slow matching processes (after the decision is made). And it’s horrendous that so many children (up to 30%) placed for adoption have the place break down. This must leave children feeling that they are unlovable. We cannot keep doing this. Every child, every adult – deserves to know that they are loved.

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