Adoption Is Not Meant To Be Simple

Following National Adoption Week, the movement for change is gathering momentum. Yet following last week’s debate in parliament, I retain my doubts about the direction of travel.

Members from all sides praised the efforts of adopters and for that matter foster carers too. There was cross-party agreement that there were no straightforward answers because the system unavoidably meshes different organisations and professions, such as the court and social services, and to be fair there was little direct criticism of social workers themselves and acknowledgement that they themselves are frustrated with delays in the system.

Speakers from all parties took their cue from the Prime Minister’s comments during questions at the beginning of NAW:

“the Government pledge that we will make the process of adoption and fostering simpler. It has become too bureaucratic and difficult, and the result is that it is putting people off.”
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Not A Good Week For Adoption

Social care is usually the poor relation of politics. Compared with other topics it seldom gets an airing, nationally at least. The reason is simple; it’s not a vote-winner, even though the way we look after our children, our sick and our vulnerable says more about the health of society than any alternative benchmark.

So it came as a genuine surprise to hear David Cameron discussing adoption a few weeks ago in the House. Although the critical perspective of adoption Czar Martin Narey has been making waves for several months, this has been largely confined to the profession itself. Cameron on his feet in the Commons brought the debate about rates of adoption into the full glare of the media spotlight. Adoption has become a political issue.
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