Clear Purpose – It’s a definition only a sleepy civil servant with no life experience or perhaps less common sense could have made up, but an excellent article in Community Care today explains how the government’s recent decision to end all contact for birth parents after adoption has been revoked, and in its place, a plethora of regulations have been outlined, designed to keep families bouncing in and out of court for decades.
Having written about the decision (which has now been reversed) with more than a little concern, we’re glad to see that the starting point for this type of contact has shifted, but we are still worried about the implications of the new regulations, which have been outlined in the Children and Families Bill.
The article in Community Care goes on to explain that social workers will now need to ensure that any contact arrangements have “a clear purpose” (which we think is a little awkward given that contact is quite obviously a purpose in itself and where children are involved is self-explanatory), and that they will also be able to ask the court for a “no contact order” when they apply for an adoption order (which would become effective once the adoption order has been made). Birth parents will then need to go back to court to apply for an order, but will have to meet tough criteria to ensure a contact order in their favour.
This latest measure has been designed to tackle what is being termed ‘unregulated contact’, through social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. The article is a very interesting read, not least of all for Director of policy, research and development at the British Association of Adoption and Fostering’s John Simmonds’ comments, on how this kind of activity can be monitored.
A must read. Thought-provoking and quite one of the most explicit examples today of why these dilemmas should really be tackled from the inside out, and not the other way around.