Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Who are the stakeholders?

The Early Years Collaborative in Scotland involves social services, health, education, police and third sector professionals getting together to discuss policy for children. The third sector is a growing part of the collaborative.  Aileen Campbell, the Children`s Minister,  announced an extra £10 million on top of the £20 million for the third sector Early Intervention Fund as part of wider investment in prevention of abuse and early intervention in the lives of children. We have to ask how is abuse to be detected before it has happened? 

Barnardo`s is one of the most important stakeholders in the third sector and because large children`s homes are no longer popular Barnardo`s have diversified: "We are one of the largest charity providers of fostering and adoption services in the UK and we work in partnership with local authorities and health trusts," they claim on their website.

Yes I bet they do, just as local authorities work in partnership with them. After all, they are part of the Early Years Collaborative. It can be noted below that Martin Narey, ministerial adviser on adoption and previously chief executive of Barnardo`s said that the number of adoptions should be increased by about 50% a year.  Well, that is Barnardo`s business so why wouldn`t he?  He has also stated that more babies need to be taken into care and adopted. It is easy to see where this is going. Children are going to be removed from their parents in order to hit a percentage and just in case they may suffer harm to their wellbeing some time in the future. That could be any child.

In contrast, John Hemming MP is a lone voice who works with families who have experienced grave injustice at the hands of the secret family courts.  He claims that 1,000 children are wrongly adopted each year. The House of Commons is usually empty when he speaks because MPs are more interested in the staged performances at Prime Minister`s question time than they are in children.

Yet it was not so long ago that a prime minister had to stand up in the House of Commons and apologise for the children sent away overseas.  Have Barnardo`s forgotten the part they played in removing children from low income families sending them to Australia and Canada, some of them never to see their families again?  I can see another disaster on its way, only by the time there is an apology, many more thousands of lives will have been destroyed.

The trouble is stakeholders have their own vested interests and when they consult with public bodies will skew decisions in their preferred direction.  They are unelected and therefore undemocratic and we should be worried that they are being given increased funding and invited to take part in collaborative partnerships with local government. Meanwhile the most important stakeholders, the parents and children, are given only a tokenistic presence.

What is really going on?

Barnardo`s Scotland  [accessed 12.06.2013]

John Hemmings calls for a public enquiry

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