Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Child Protection - Why Are We Failing?

The catalogue of failures, across the UK, when it comes to our ability to protect children in danger is truly appalling. Already this year there have been convictions in the cases of Baby P and now of little Brandon Muir - both killed by people known to authorities as both dangerous and potentially deadly.

Police, social work, health service and to some extent education service personnel must all look at themselves. Yet again no one is prepared to take personal responsibility and do the decent thing by resigning for having failed 23 month old Brandon. This poor child lived with a drug addict, prostitute mother who brought a man into her life who was known by authorities to be violent and a potential danger to her child.

Post a conviction we find out, yet again, that authorities were just moments away from taking a child who died into care. TOO LATE! Why oh why do we always hear what they might have done instead of hearing about early intervention to protect children who are being physically abused.

Statistics released today suggest that as many as 50,000 Scottish children are living with drug addict parents. Given the risk to them of their parent being unable to look after them, or indeed of accidentally taking drugs left lying about, it is surely time for state intervention on an unprecedented scale to protect these children.

Our continual inability to get this right is a stain on the reputation of our society and something we must address. There are thousands of possibilities out there for placement of children in need of proper homes. Foster care, adoption, care homes take your pick, all would be better than leaving children at risk in the way we continue to do.

I don't know why I was adopted just after birth but I am very grateful that I was placed with a loving, caring mother and father who would have given anything to protect me from harm. Where parents are not able to do this for their children it is the states role to step in and for as long as the state fails to do so effectively we should all hang our heads in shame.

No comments: