Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Blaming families

"Lumping parental responsibilities on state agencies will mitigate against children’s interests being served, writes Tiffany Jenkins... "

"What everyone needs is to be allowed to get on with it. To be trusted to do a reasonable job, and not blamed for problems that are nothing, or not much, to do with childrearing. But that, it would seem, is impossible. The trouble is, the last few decades, the family and the early years of a child’s life have been identified, in political circles, as the breeding ground for social problems. The family is fingered as the place where everything goes wrong: poor educational attainment, obesity, joblessness, stress, addiction, criminality, if not intentionally so, then accidentally so, according to policymakers. I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried to get rid of it altogether." [The family]

"Policymakers pose early intervention into a child’s life as the solution to any problem that might arise later. It is a flawed approach that has negative consequences: social solutions to such problems are neglected – structural issues are ignored; and the family has become the focus of intervention, intervention that seems to know no end. The state is sent into the heart of the family, at conception – almost at the point of foreplay – with the intention of creating a peaceful and prosperous society, where there are no tears before bedtime and everyone lives happily ever after. The problem is that such intervention – and the assumptions behind it – will cause more harm than good."

"It is an approach that explains the disastrous “named person” scheme, which is shaping up to be a(n) unpopular and discredited policy, even before it is even fully implemented. Thankfully, maybe just in time, the initiative is the focus for growing concern and critical scrutiny. Maybe the Scottish Government will rethink. I hope so."

Yes, we just need to look at Greece and the  eurozone to see that there are forces at work beyond the control of any family who will still be expected to pay the price in austerity.

Early interventions to tackle poverty are an evasion.

See A marriage made in hell: Early intervention meets child protection

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