Thursday, November 08, 2012

National Adoption Week

Well it’s National Adobtion Week this week, Now how many of you knew? I guess that as most of the weekly blog club members work in local gov or connected in someway that you did know but what about the public in general?

I hate to criticise my own council but even they haven’t made too much of it, despite being jointly awarded the British Association for Adoption & Fostering’s (BAAF)’s Adoption Service of the Year award. So well done to all at Bournemouth Borough Council Adoption team. You, and all such teams around the country do a difficult job which is largely unseen by the general public. This week was a chance to get this subject in the public eye but sadly I don’t think enough has been said about it. Compare that to the pathetic ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and other such non-sense days that someone, somewhere has thought should be recognised. Quite who decides what’s important and what isn’t I don’t know. But I see that Wikipedia even has a page on Talk Like a Pirate Day but not one on National Adoption Week. Some people’s priorities are all wrong.

Was chatting to a friend yesterday and he was telling me about a couple he knows that takes in children for short term care. They have had dozens of children to look after for a week, fortnight or maybe just a matter on months. Good for them. Work like this goes on up and down the country but never gets reported..

I must admit that my favourite edition of the TV programme ‘This is Your Life’ is when Eamonn Andrews was in a theatre once chatting to the audience. He said that one theme of that show that day would be adoption and asked how many people in the audience had adopted children. About three people put up their hands. He asked them how many children that he adopted. One of them said they had two children. Another had one. Then the last lady, Who was sat next to where Eamonn was standing replied she had 132 children (figure from memory but not be correct but it certainly in that range). This brought gasps from the audience. Eamonn asked he to confirm that figure. She said yes. She was quite embarrassed by the attention she was now getting. And even more embarrassed when Eamonn pulled out the red book and informed her that she was the subject of that edition of the show. They gave her life story and had nearly all of the hundred or so children came on stage to give their thanks to their ‘mum’ It was a lovely show. However this was a one off. Most of the time the world of Children’s Services is largely a hidden one.

Of course the main time that Children’s Services are mentioned is when something goes wrong. People who work in these departments are human beings and as such have the potential to make mistakes. Unfortunately we are dealing with the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society here. So mistakes can be catastrophic. But let big up the work of those who work in Children’s Services. Get this whole subject out into the open and put this important subject on the national agenda.

I’ll leave you with one interesting fact. 38% of prisoners under 21 reported that they had experience of Local Authority Care [], Proof if it was ever needed that if we give children the best start in life then the community as a whole will benefit in the long term. It may lead to a decline in crime and a decline in the prison population.



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