Adoption guidelines on race distract from system that is itself is suffering from neglectPosted by Francesca on Feb 21, 2011 in Blog | 1 comment
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.