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(12 Posts)
Luckygirl Mon 02-Nov-15 10:44:20

DC has said that he wishes to encourage the speeding up of the adoption process - so far, so good.

But he then goes on to add a silly political soundbite about a target of "doubling" the number of adoptions.

We do not want it doubled, we simply want the process to be speeded up for those children for whom it is appropriate and where suitable adopters are available. This may involve doubling the number (or maybe less or maybe more) - silly targets are meaningless and encourage poor professional practice as we have seen in the NHS and in education.

I wonder if resources will follow this announcement - more trained SWs, more adoptive parent recruitment campaigns, more support for adoptive parents who take on older more challenging children etc. etc. These don't come cheap.

annsixty Mon 02-Nov-15 11:41:07

My DiL's friend has adopted two brothers ,one of whom is quite damaged,the younger was removed at birth.They were with foster parents for 12 months before being adopted.Less determined and loving parents would have given up before now but they have had to fight tooth and nail to get help and support so I would certainly second your call for more and better SW's to help in very trying times.

Luckygirl Mon 02-Nov-15 12:04:46

I have a close relative who also adopted two brothers and they have had to devote their lives to dealing with the problems unsupported. The sort of things they have had to deal with are not those that you would expect from a birth child, but the result of the physical/chemical and emotional traumas that they suffered. SSD and mental health services did zilch! - really nothing at all, in spite of knocking on these doors till their knuckles were raw.

POGS Mon 02-Nov-15 12:38:07

Victoria Derbyshire covered this subject on her t.v show this morning, worth watching if you are interested in adoption.

The question is have things improved, yes . Is there more to do , yes but at least adoption has been taken seriously and the will to continue improvement is there and 'all' parties e.g the government, Social Services, Legal profession must continue to improve on the unneccesary long delays that has thwarted adoption over the years.

There are obviously many aspects to adoption that require serious consideration but given they are well known and the agencies adhere to them the speed with which adoption can proceed to a satisfactory conclusion can be 'speeded' up.

No child with an opportunity to be given a loving home should suffer through needless bureaucracy.

Anniebach Mon 02-Nov-15 12:42:40

Speeding up adoption when there is a shortage of social workers and the probation service is privatised is so dangerous and will put children at risk

Nelliemoser Mon 02-Nov-15 12:58:03

Luckygirl Cameron just likes a good sound bite and I doubt if he has any idea of the complexities of placing children for adoption. These days adoption is rarely about the children of unmarried mothers being given a nice home.

Very early abuse and neglect can have a devastating effect on a child's development. Missing out on a sound early emotional attachment can damage a child long term.

I guess most of the children who are "free for adoption" have experienced neglect or abuse or are at risk of that, that it is felt the parents are just not able to keep them safe.

Many of these children are emotionally damaged and come with a lot of issues.
There is little after adoption support for these troubled children as there is no money to provide services.

Anniebach Mon 02-Nov-15 13:00:07

Cameron has no idea what the real world is like

Luckygirl Mon 02-Nov-15 13:02:56

Nellie - that is why I so detest these crass soundbites. It has become the norm for politicians to sound off about things they know nothing about and to ignore all subtleties and complexities - and worse still to ignore the professionals on the ground. Grrr!

Doubling the number of adoptions is a nonsense soundbite. Working to support and fund the speedier process of adoption is good; but if that results in less than a doubling so be it. I would rather the process was done properly than in a way that is simply a response to this meaningless target.

Nelliemoser Mon 02-Nov-15 13:03:16

I have just read the posts below which crossed with mine.

I have seen serious case review reports where it was concluded that "speeding up adoption" led to mistakes being made in really assessing the parents motivation and preparedness to take on a family group.

Luckygirl Mon 02-Nov-15 13:22:00

Absolutely agree, and it concerns me that this target will increase the number of such errors.

One of the issues that results in delays is the emphasis on the birth mother's (or parents') rights. There are often exhaustive attempts to help inadequate parents to learn the right skills - but by the time the babe is born it is too late to learn sufficiently quickly to be a true parent to the child(ren). This is often how we finish up with toddlers and older who have bonded with foster families and then have to make the transition to an adoptive family.

Education has a big role to play - secondary pupils should all be learning about what being a parent means BEFORE they start to reproduce! And the withdrawing of funding from so many family centres has not helped.

POGS Mon 02-Nov-15 13:59:09

Well I thought the debate on Victoria Derbyshire was a good one. Horses mouth so to speak.

Iam64 Mon 02-Nov-15 19:22:58

Mr Justice Mumby, head of the FamilybDivision has made comment recently about l.a.s using Section 20 of the Children Act as a precursor to care proceedings and indicated l.a's will be subject to stringent questioning in such cases.
s20 is so called voluntary cAre. It's use was supposed to be in cases eg mum with one, mum going into hospital with now family support. In those cases, care proceedings aren't necessary, parents recognise their children need "accommodating" ie foster care for a brief period.
Sadly bad practice led some l.a's to "persuade" parents where significant safeguarding issues exist to sign their agreement to s20 "otherwise w'll take it to court" . Parents without the benefit of legal aid and scared witless will almost always agree to sign. This leaves the children and their parents without legal representation. Such matters can drift for months. Children may be moved between relatives and foster placements
Against this background Cameron wants to double 'forced' adoptions. Terrifying prospect for all concerned. There was a r cent case of a baby returned to birth from prospective adoptive parents a year into placement because birth parents hadn't been legally represented or advised. What pain for all concerned
The cuts to legal aid in family matters is a disgrace