Coffee House

Tim Loughton versus the adoption bureaucracy

22 December 2011

10:39 AM

22 December 2011

10:39 AM

Parliament has decamped for midwinter, but the business of government goes on. Today’s
announcement, by the children’s minister Tim Loughton, is contained within a Times article here. ‘An expert
panel,’ it reveals, will be tasked with designing a new system for assessing prospective adoptive parents by March next year. That new system, making it easier for suitable folk to adopt,
should then be in place by the end of 2012.

In many respects, adoption is perfect Cameroonian territory; being, as it is, at the intersection of social responsibility, family, deregulation, etc, etc. But politics isn’t what should concern us
here. A lot of unmitigated good can be done in fixing a system that has been strangled and subverted by years of bureaucratic interference. As David Cameron put it in his most recent party conference speech:

‘Today I can announce this: a new focus on the 65,000 children in care. Do you know how many children there are in care under the age of one? 3,660. And how many children under the age
of one were adopted in our country last year? Sixty. This may not seem like the biggest issue facing our country, but it is the biggest issue for these children. How can we have let this happen:
we’ve got people flying all over the world to adopt babies, while the care system at home agonises about placing black children with white families.’

The question is whether the government will choose to sweep the current system away, or try to finesse it. Paul Goodman’s observation
that ‘guidance issued over ten years ago to remind local authorities that seeking ethnic matches should not delay adoption has not been followed by many local councils,’ suggests to me
that a initial dose of transparency and naming-and-shaming could go a long way.

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Show comments
  • Verity

    Right over left – Every role, except the national government, the military and the police, should be taken away from the public sector.

  • Rightoverleft

    Much as I sympathise with the intentions of this move, I doubt anything will actually change. The Government is faced with years of in-built political correctness carried as an act of faith within Social Services and the Public Sector in general. I wouldn’t put it past the adoption services to deliberately agree to a few ” bad adoptions” just so that later they could say ” see, told you so “. Perhaps I am being too cynical here, but I feel the only way to make this succeed will be to take the role away from the public sector.

  • Verity

    Petross writes in a stream of adolescent indignation: “Quick blame the social workers!! They are always to blame! Either them or the BBC!”

    No, the people engaged in the made-up, pretend job of “social worker” are just ego-hungry, power-seeking worker ants. These inadequates want power over their fellow citizens. They are little infections, dependent for their emulments from the state of the One Worlder establishment and of some value to the establishment by their ability to infect others.(They call it “making a difference”.) The “license fee” is but a tribute extracted from the little people.

    They are the expendable foot soldiers. The little widgets that hold the door open for the One Worlder masters of the universe.

    The BBC is more powerful, as the serfs are obliged to pay their absurd emoluments through the fantasy “licence” fee for their own destruction. Jonathan Ross. Jo Brand. Chris Patten. John Humphries. David Dimbleby. Eddie Izzard. Stephen Fry. And many more who have sprung up since I fled. Weapons one and all in the fight against stability, history and civilisation. Toxins infused into the bloodstream of Britain.

    Soldiers, every one, in the Common Purpose infantry.

  • Tin tack

    but why is the most privileged county in Engalnd, Surrey, so far down the performance let? It should be at the top.

  • Dennis Churchill

    December 22nd, 2011 3:01pm
    Social workers are blamed because the culture of social work is dominated by cultural Marxism and these values are not held by the majority of the population.
    Policies, that by insisting on same race adoption or that adoptive parents meet other subjective standard, that most people feel irrelevant, result in children being left in care when we know the adverse results that has on their lives, are not acceptable.
    The Victoria Climbie Inquiry and the Baby Peter case both showed serious shortcomings which the social work establishment seem unwilling to deal with.

  • Robert Kaye

    Re Hilton Dawson, I’ve seen this seemingly embittered man twice put on BBC News this week to attack a Coalition initiative as though he were a neutral expert without anyone pointing out that he’s a former Labour MP and unlikely to be sympathetic to anything the Tories might be doing.

  • Vishal

    Very interesting. I once responded to an article by Narey asking what was the point of articles and speeches when nothing changes on the ground. This was after an experience with Croydon council. The email got forwarded to the council, we did get a call from them and an invite to one session on adoption.
    It was the same old story – the child needs to ‘look like you’. Surely that is discrimination of some sort?
    AND the social worker team lead actually knew who we were, and said “Using your connections to get here doesn’t help, you have caused a lot of trouble” !!!!!!
    What connections?! It was one email.
    Kudos to Coffeehouse and the councillor at Croydon council for picking it up though.

  • Verity

    And, of course, the story is illustrated by the mandatory black children, who can later carve a junior career out of posing ostentatiously in the front row of classroom photographs and photographs with visiting politicians.

  • Pettros

    Quick blame the social workers!! They are always to blame! Either them or the BBC!

  • Lonesome Dave

    Heartless Curmudgeon @ 11:12am

    Well Good Luck to him! – he will have to push against a mighty entrenched army of po-faced PC ‘Yoomun Roits’ Warriors, jobsworths, busy-bodies and all the banal cr*p that follows in their wake.

    Quite right HC, however they can also be summed up as the public sector.

  • Dennis Churchill

    Social workers are the problem here. By the time they finish their training/indoctrination they resemble a cult more than a profession.
    Unless adoption is taken away from these departments and the system is purged of sociobabble nothing will improve.

  • Tom Pride

    “strangled and subverted by years of bureaucratic interference”

    How true. Killer piece on the Toady today ( 0842 – Hilton Dawson chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers explains why he is sceptical and Martin Narey, government adviser on adoption, gives his reaction.)

    Hilton Dawson – “rigorous as possible…should not emphasise speed over quality……adoption is for life…..avoid at great cost [!!!!!] adoption breakdown.”

    Martin Narey – Romanian orphans ….. “most adopted by parents in UK not eligible to be adopters or refused …..168 adoptions and all these years later only 2 breakdowns. . . . yet have a system that did not see they could become good adopters.”

    What’s new? The state and its organs are crap at most things and that includes the parenting they offer when their bureaucratic knots deny children adoptive parents. For the misery the jobsworths have caused – sack the pissing lot.

  • wrinkled weasel

    It’s another example of the way Cameroonia is quietly shifting the goal posts back to normal. Of course, they won’t touch anything contentious like the Catholic angle, but if it kicks some sense into credulous, sweaty, alfalfa-munching social workers, all to the good.

    Of course, adoptive families(and this is a bit seasonal) should be anybody but people who believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. That would just be utter total child abuse. Better place them with a few alkis and rapists and militant atheists, who at least can give them a realistic upbringing in life.

  • Rhoda Klapp

    I’m thinking Camelot could do this quicker, cheaper and at least as well.

  • bojimbo

    Who designed the system in the first place – ” experts ” ?

  • Heartless Curmudgeon

    Well Good Luck to him! – he will have to push against a mighty entrenched army of po-faced PC ‘Yoomun Roits’ Warriors, jobsworths, busy-bodies and all the banal cr*p that follows in their wake.