I've just taken on a new placement who's been at home on a supposed care order for 11 months. He was supposed to be receiving regular visits from a family support worker and his own social worker. These visits often didn't happen as the staff have been slashed to the absolute minimum, and a large number of those left are off sick!
He's now been placed with me as the inevitable near tragedy has happened. To put things bluntly he should have been in care months and months ago, and it's possibly now too late to help him get over the damage done and also due to his age (he's nearly 4) ever find him an adoptive home - my LA are struggling to get "normal" children placed and he has some hurdles to overcome.
My own support worker let slip about a year ago that children were being left at home as there simply isn't the money or foster places for them to be moved to. I've always been angry about the government cuts but this has really brought it home. And just today I read another article about reducing adoption waiting times - I wish the blinkered government could stop wasting money on consultations about this and concentrate on helping children get help BEFORE they get too damaged for adoption!
Totally agree Scarlet but I think we must all remember that this govt does not have a shred of care or even common decency to anyone other than themselves and their rich friends. I am approaching 70 and I have never seen the likes of this before - they are taking us back to the 1930's or even earlier thr 1890's and the poor law.
I have also heard that LAs are having to leave children at home where they are being subjected to neglect and abuse, becasue they don't have the financil resources to look after them. This is horrendous but I am willing to believe it is true. You are quite right that the longer a child is ill treated the worse the outcome will be, and his chances of adoption disappear by the day. Cameron doesn't know what he's talking about "speeding up adoption" I don't think he has the feintest idea that there are not hordes of prospective adoptors out there willing to take on older children, sibling groups and children with disabilities. He should not dabble in things he knows nothing about. Presumably with the "speed up" it would mean a shorter assessment. Maybe we will go back to the 50's and 60's where a health visitor or adoption worker visisted the applicants and so long as the house was clean and tidy and the garden well maintained, and a reference from the local priest or vicar, BINGO they were approved. I shudder to think what some of those children went through.
In my view Children's Services are at breaking point (as are many other public services whose budgets have been slashed by these tories) while keeping their rich friends happy and banker's bonuses on the increase. The blame has to be laid at their doorstep because the LAs have to make the cuts - they have no option, and at the same time the govt are expecting improved services. Anyway there won't be enough sws to "speed up" adoption any time soon. I am still in touch with ex colleagues who tell me that many of the buildings have been sold off and they have to sit in car parks working on a laptop in their car. There are significant redundancies in the offing too which can only make matters worse.