Why is it that when pressure groups, think tanks and organisations come together to offer sensible suggestions to improving the family justice system, the government seizes on the idea of change as a vote winner and worsens the systems it seeks to change rather than reforms them?
Part of the problem stems from not understanding the systems they’re working with as a whole, having only a very limited knowledge of them combined with having to heed the clamours of key stakeholders battering down government’s doors to make sure their views are prioritised, rather than those views which actually solve problems.
This latest news item mentions a speech that will be given this morning by Michael Gove on the latest plans to ‘dismantle a bloated adoption system’. It is believed that Gove will go on to say, “Ministers will back social workers when they intervene and take children into care; there has been too much reluctance to remove children from “outright abuse and neglect”.
The rather ranty quotations in the article, focusing not on competency inside the system, quality of social care or adoption as a means of providing a loving home, suggest a dangerous recklessness by an individual vying for popularity. Social workers are already starting to feel concerned. Nushra Mansuri, a professional officer for the British Association of Social Workers, felt there was room for improvement, but said “performance indicators immediately set off alarm bells.
She goes on to say, “This was tried under the Blair government and led to accusations of targets leading to perverse incentives [to place children for adoption].”
Targets had a disastrous effect on children. And rushing through adoptions will do the same.
We would suggest reforming the system from the inside out, not looking at superficial statistics to move an agenda. How do these gentleman get to run entire departments into the ground? Absolutely astounding.