If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Every child matters

Children are supposed to be the centre of all the decisions made by social services, but, and isn't there always a but,  red tape, legalities and time seem to always get in the way.

In an ideal world a child who was being damaged by his birth family would be removed quickly and placed with a family willing to adopt him/her immediately. Unforeseen circumstances seem to always  hold things up and generally the one person left in limbo is the child.

At the moment adopters who have completed all the relevant courses and met up with their social worker fortnightly over a six month period have to be "interviewed" by an adoption panel and then ratified, then they have to be matched with a child in the system, that match has to be approved by a matching panel then ratified, before placement can start.

So what to do, well the government is looking at a system called foster to adopt which would mean that once an adult or adults had been ratified as adopters they could foster the child they would like to adopt whilst waiting for matching panel to approve and then ratify.

But, oh that word again, what about all those unforeseen circumstances, like those in our case. Social workers and foster carers are all human, this means that mistakes happen, priorities change, workloads can be huge and mismanaged. No-one is perfect, in fact life isn't perfect, we can't give up just because something is complicated.

I read a story a little while ago and I agree with its sentiments entirely.

One day a man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a child gently throwing something into the sea, when he caught up with the child he asked him what he was doing. 
" I'm throwing the starfish back into the sea, the sun is up and the tide is going out, they will die."  The child answered. "But, child, there are hundreds of starfish and miles of beach, what difference can you make?" After listening politely the child bent down to throw another starfish safely back into the sea. He turned and smiled saying "I made a difference to that one!"

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