Narey, Adoption & Good Old Common Sense!
July 14, 2011
After reading an article in Community Care today I was surprised to see a new found optimism on the part of Martin Narey for kinship care, alongside an element of frustration at the Court system for involving family and friends when a child is about to be adopted, when ‘at a glance (family and friends) are completely unsuitable’.
It makes me smile when I hear or read comments or remarks made about kinship carers and their suitability to raise their relative’s children. Not too long ago I overheard a conversation where kinship carers were described as ‘rough and ready’. But do kids really care about first impressions and appearances? I don’t think so. Children instinctively know what lies beneath and can see beyond what people like Martin Narey can see.
There are over 173,000 children living in kinship care in the UK. These children and their carers receive little if any support, and yet the kids do remarkably well and the carers thrive knowing they have avoided their relative’s children from being taken into care.
Can you imagine if these kinship carers received support – my goodness I think we could cut the number of kids in care by 20%. But the reality is that many family and friends carers do not feel as though they could look after their relative’s children because there is no support that would enable them to do so. Perhaps that’s were the answer lies.
I left care 19 years ago. When I look at the care system now little if anything has changed. The care system is broken, and always has been broken. We have patched it up with legislation, guidance and all the rest of it but it is and will always be broken. All Martin Narey is trying to do is patch up another hole and that might work for the system but it won’t work for the children within it.
I don’t agree with Martin Narey and his approach (or lack of approach) when it comes to keeping children within their own families. But then Martin Narey hasn’t experienced an upbringing like mine and so many others, so how could he understand.
Lets hope good old common sense prevails. It usually does.