Tag Archives: foster care

This time next year we will be Millionaires!

lrgscalecoaster-only-fools-and-horses-millionaires

‘This time next year we will be Millionaires Rodney’ (Only Fools and Horses). It’s a nice thought and one I often dreamt about. The joy of never having to worry about ‘How are we going to pay the bills?’ Or ‘Can I afford that top?’ Is one that brings joy to me.  If only! However, increasingly there is growing concern that private companies are starting to increase in their profit from the care of vulnerable children. A big business where children with complex needs are being placed into ‘safe’ accommodation, which is not being run by the Local Authority.  More concerning is that some of this provision when inspected by Ofsted is not achieving the inspection outcome of Excellent that should be required in order to provide this care.

The question that has been asked is ‘Is it right to profit from the care of vulnerable children?’. The sensible answer is that we know that if a business is to be successful, it has to be profitable. But is this a sensible answer to care? I am sure David Cameron and his Tory colleagues would love to break down the perceived damaged and broken care system in order to profit from their private interests in private Health and Social Care issues. So I am glad that this is now being challenged.

It is important that when children have been found a place to live that they are invested in, achieve the permanence that we all enjoy. That at the first fall, they are not rejected because the behaviour will cost too much money.  That time, boundaries and care is going to be provided to break down the perceived image that children in care are worthless and all criminals. Or that deep down breaking the image that they are bad and naughty and that’s why they are in care.

However, I have been able to visit a variety of residential homes that have been developed out of ‘City funding’ and the care and detail to the care that is provided has been outstanding.  Starting with the ethos of the home and its workers to the commitment going above and beyond what is expected.  On the down side I have also seen homes where proft has come at the expense of the young person and one I could not leave any child in.  The difference is massive, as is the impact upon the young person and their outcomes in life and why this question is so important.

It is not just Residential homes of course that make money from caring for children – Fostering agencies also profit as exposed by Children as Core Assetts.  Although Children as Core Assetts goes further implying that Children are stolen in order to help certain individuals profit.  I am sure a story that the Daily Telegraph and Christopher Booker would love to write!

The real argument though should be the investment in an experienced workforce.  Where workers leave consistently and frequently adding further pressure on caseloads and on the assessment process.  Meaning support needed for families can not always be provided by and managed in the most appropriate way.   The aim of ensuring children can remain within their family setting should be the main goal, reducing the need for external placements that drain the resources of local authorities further.

Business, profit and social work are terms that do not sit comfortably together more so when it comes to the care of the most vulnerable people in our society.  However, where individaul effort and thought can use the resources available to make a much needed difference in a young persons life, I can not argue with this concept.  However, I can and will when it has the reverse impact on such vulnerable lives. Profit should not come before safegurding and profit should not come before a safe and warm living environment where the physical and emotional needs of a child can be met.

I guess that means this time next year I wont be a millionaire then!

Who are the real people?

Ask the real people I am told? there is another side to the story and innocent people have been waiting a long time for someone to stand up to the despicable actions of those (few) but nasty social workers that remove children.

Who are these real people and are social workers not real people? perhaps this might be why there is a problem with social work training! For a different view of child abuse, how about one where people strongly believe that those who commit child abuse should be castrated (not my view) but one that is certainly held in The Republic of Moldova .   Of course this is an extreme view and may be the polar opposite of those that think children should remain with their parents, even if they are being neglected! But for me this is why social work is so important, because it does not sit in any camp and for many people this is scary and a threat.  After all how can each family be treated differently and no same outcome achieved twice?people

I blogged about this on ‘Is there anyway to improve?’ and how there are many different perceptions of one snap shot of life.  There is also multiple ways that each scenario could end up, and with out everyone wanting to end child neglect it does not really matter which camp you support the outcome will be the same! Children will suffer.

As a social worker, working with children it does make me sad and angry that many adults who argue that they have the best interests of the child at heart; are still only arguing for their own personal gain and feelings.  When something goes wrong or a mistake is made the children are used for the reason to make a change rather than being the focus.  It is however the adult issue, which remains the subject of the media interest.  The media that can not even give respect to the children it believes that it is campaigning for including the Sun in this piece that could not even name Peter Connerly and instead referred to him as ‘Baby P’.  The shame of this article makes me sick because it focuses more on the adult writer rather than the tragic story of neglect suffered by Peter Connerly.  Or even worse the story of the Rotherham foster carers who want an apology for the children removed from them! After all lets not focus on giving the children  a chance to have their future determined through their family proceedings with out any other factors influencing the final outcome.

The real issue of this story is poor communication and the right to privacy for these young Children. Not very exciting and one that you would not often see in the media, however move the victim from the children to the foster carers, add a local election, race and we have a far more interesting story in which to beat the local council and the reputation of all social workers with.

Who are the real people? If you ask me it does not matter who the real people are – It is the children that matter to me, breaking the cycle of neglect and poor parenting YES poor parenting not poor people but poor parenting.  Which is why I am interested in early intervention and understanding how each family works and what support is needed to keep children safe.  Because I know that being in care is not always the best options but sadly sometimes it is the only option.

Perhaps Mr Gove rather than making wild statements instead you should invest in Social Care and education rather than criticising the service you are pulling apart!