Incompetent. Vicious. Mendacious. Abusing. Politically driven. Out of touch. Lacking in common sense, Racist. Obstructive. Waste of taxpayers money. Useless. No these are not the results of a word association test received after being shown a picture of Gordon Brown, but rather epithets that could quite easily be applied to many members of Britain’s social work ‘professions’.
A recent article on the Conservative Home website outlined the experiences of potential adopters who have had to deal with Birmingham Social Services. What was published made me extremely angry. Children who are in desperate need of loving, caring homes are being left to languish in Britain’s so-called ‘care’ system.
It appears that Birmingham social workers are going out of their way to impede the adoption process and the Conservative Home report says that the social workers seem to have a ‘prejudice’ against adoption.
Conservative Home said:
“Birmingham City Council have published a survey of adoption applicants. There are some sensible recommendations on some of the criticisms raised. So it is an interesting document and it is to the credit of the council that the research was undertaken and that it was published. Let’s hope that action indicates a desire to change. Many of the concerns raised will not be unique to Birmingham.
But I’m afraid it does show the most widespread and horrendous prejudice in the council against adoption – at least hitherto. Those wishing to adopt a child seek to provide that child with a permanent loving home rather than being shunted around the care system. Those offering to adopt should be given every possible welcome and encouragement. Their applications should be pursued as a matter of urgency. I fear, to put it mildly, this has not been the experience in Birmingham.
As the Daily Mail has highlighted the report says:
There were several reports of adopters being told they would need to give up work. One participant left the process because of this.
We often hear about black children being kept in care rather than be placed with white couples – the refusal to allow “transracial adoption.” In Birmingham children are also kept in care if there isn’t a religious match. The report says:
One participant spoke of their experience of rigid matching on religious criteria. The adopter from an Asian origin, was very open to a trans-religious adoption (e.g. would adopt a Muslim child), knowing their own religion – Hindu – is not common amongst children waiting. However, they were told there was a low chance of a trans-religious adoption and an adopter of the same religion as a Muslim child (e.g. Somali) would have more chance of adopting them.
The adopter found this experience very frustrating, particularly given the low level of Asian adopters in the city, and stressed the similarities between their culture and that of many Asian Muslim children.
At the time of the Research, this adopter was still waiting to be matched after over two years in the process.
So far as the Kafkaesque preoccupation with “ethnic matching”, the report said:
A white couple who reported they had no ethnicity preference ticked ‘white’ on the ‘preference form’. They said this was subsequently highlighted in a negative manner by different members of staff during the process. They felt judged but pointed out there was nowhere on the form to select ‘no preference’.
There were also several examples of participants who felt they experienced rigid matching and felt the Service would not consider them for transracial adoptions: “We feel we were quite broad minded … However we were effectively barred from … adopting non-white children by the system?!” “…suggested I was not going to be able to adopt…given my rather unusual ethnicity. I was basically told they did not have many X children to be adopted. I had not asked for X children” “We are now in the matching stage. Despite our NOT stipulating a preference for white UK children. These were all we were considered for … although my husband and I have the skills and ability to help a child understand their heritage”
In one case, a mixed White/Black African applicant, who appeared physically white, wanted to be matched with a mixed ethnicity child. On ‘paper’ they said they generated a lot of interest, but once photographs were exchanged interest often declined. “…on paper, I think lots of social workers thought, ‘Oh that’s good’ and sent stuff through and whenever they got a photo of us, they all went quiet and in the end our social worker didn’t send a photo”.
The general message from this report was of social workers being as negative and obstructive as possible. They would be intrusive, hostile and use delay to push applicants into giving up. Of course it is right to ensure those wishing to adopt are aware of the challenges. But imagine if antenatal classes adopted the same tone?”
What we see time and time again is social workers who despite saying that they act for the best interests of looked after children, are in practice, doing the exact opposite. Social Services not just in Birmingham but elsewhere, are keeping children in the worst possible environment, state provided ‘parenting’ in the care system, rather than getting them into families who will care for them,love them and nurture them. It is almost as if social workers were ideologically prejudiced against the whole idea of ‘the family’.
It is appalling that children who may have had terrible starts in life are left to rot because an exact ethnic or religious or nationality match cannot be found for that particular child.
The current set up of local authority social services has failed and I can’t help wonder if these damaged children’s chances would be better if the Government took a very sharp axe to social services departments, sacked the doctrinaire managers and social workers and replaced them all with those who live in the real world. I’ve lived long enough to have come across some appalling examples of social services idiocy and that has brought me to the sad conclusion that local authority social work is completely unreformable and some form of drastic action is required. However, I’m not going to hold my breath whilst waiting for ‘Call Me Dave’ to do the slightest thing about it.
There are very few career paths that a person can take that would qualify them to be classed as ‘scum’ by ordinary decent people, but those who enter local authority social work, and follow without question the politically correct dross that passes for social work training, really do deserve this word being applied to them.