Adoption with Humanity’s letter to the Prime MinisterPosted by Francesca on Oct 31, 2011 in Blog | 0 comments
This is the letter which my three-year-old daughter Gaia will deliver today to the Prime Minister with a petition signed by almost 1,400 people supporting the need for urgent adoption reforms and the setting up of a National Adoption Authority:
Dear Prime Minister,
Ref: Adoption with Humanity’s call for a “National Adoption Authority”
As you are aware, the adoption system in this country is in crisis and in dire need of reform. We were very pleased to hear you speak out on the subject in your speech at the Conservative Party Conference this year, and welcome your support for a reform of the system.
We have recently met with Mr Tim Loughton MP and are grateful for his plans for reform, however we strongly believe that there is an imperative need for the government to go one step further and create a “regulator” – a body which would ensure the proposed reforms are met; one that would be able to deal with everything from the delays and conflicts in the courts, to the Department of Education, as well as the local authorities.
We believe that whilst the government’s proposals are a good start, without taking on the challenges of the lack of authority and unity of purpose of the various parts of the adoption system, the changes will be nothing more than a token effort resembling that of the previous government’s call for reform ten years ago.
This “Regulator” or National Adoption Authority (NAA) as we would suggest, would bring together the social work and justice systems, and create a rational control structure to ensure co-operation between these two parts of the state. This will guarantee that current and future policies are made to happen and their success measured. We believe that only by setting up a National Adoption Authority will the government be able to claim its authority over adoption practices.
The rationale behind calling for an “Authority” is simple. It is, we believe, the only way that the divergent interests and policies from different departments can be brought into harmony and one set of laws, regulations and guidelines be imposed. Rather than being invested in an individual it would bring together, via a controlling mixed representative body, all the best thinking in adoption law and practice.
The NAA will not be a new “quango”, instead it will replace the team within the DoE with a structure that would have authority over local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies and the courts to enforce government policies. To confirm this is successful a much stronger version of the “inspection” function of OFSTED will need to be created as part of the NAA.
We would like to clarify that it is a National Adoption Authority (and not Agency) that we are proposing. Setting up a National Adoption Agency would involve considerable time and expense, and be in danger of replicating the same attitudes and behaviours that are causing problems in the current system.
We have set up a petition on the government site, a copy of which is enclosed, and are calling for support in our campaign.
Please see the enclosed document “Our Proposed Solution to the Adoption Crisis” for a fuller explanation and more details can be found on our website www.adoptionwithhumanity.co.uk.
We thank you for your time in considering our suggestion and hope for your support.