During the last decade, authorities and agencies across the country have found it increasingly hard to find permanent, loving families for children in care in a timely way. The government's plan to speed up adoptions, announced by Michael Gove in 2012, briefly reversed that trend. But it looks as though there has now been a dramatic loss of nerve by many in the social care sector...
Making a teeny-tiny human is the greatest thing your brother/sister ever did. They didn't do it for you, obviously. But sometimes, in a perfect moment with your niece/nephew on your lap, it feels like maybe they kind-of did.When my nephew, Charlie, puts his little hand in mine, the whole world makes sense. His existence is joy.
For the first time in my life, I find myself putting family before (or at least on the same level as) work. It's a truly uncomfortable feeling. At first, there's the realisation that things will never be the same again, and then there's the even more awkward, mid-life crisis-inducing emotion that for the past 15 years, I've likely had my priorities wrong.
To make sense of this the government needs to understand that caring does not function like the money economy. Time spent on it is not a cost to society, but a vital benefit, and the more of it a society can do, the richer it becomes.
The problem with Emin's statements is that they propagate damaging myths: about what it is to be an artist, a mother, a woman. And as Virginia Woolf tells us, it far harder to kill a phantom than a reality. It's like looking for nits, or searching for proof for jealousy: resolution can only be reached by discovering what we don't want to be true and in the absence of that we are condemned to continue the search.
Mums and adopters will have real choice about when they return to work, dads will have more time to bond with their children, children will have better outcomes, while employers will benefit from lower staff turnover and having a workforce that is more flexible and motivated. And who wouldn't want that?
Last week a colleague and I travelled to Greece to the annual EECERA Conference. I like to attend such conferences because I believe that if we do not work to connect practitioners, policy makers and academics then we will never gain the coherence we need to ensure policies and practice are effective and actually support children and families in a way that also supports social justice.
Times goes at a different rate in the country. It seems only yesterday that we drove out beyond the M25, and the cat pooped on my lap, and we began our new life in a house of flies and dirt and no door-handles. It was actually ten months ago.
The prime minister yesterday pledged to introduce a new "family test" to ensure that every domestic policy is examined for its impact on the family. If David Cameron was to implement the policy retrospectively, how would the coalition government fare?
Men are less emotionally invested in marriage. Research shows that partners who perceive themselves as less emotionally invested, also perceive themselves as having more power in the relationship.
I never neglected my babies, they knew they were loved and they always had everything they needed but I certainly wasn't hands on. I did a great deal of remote control parenting. You know the kind of parenting I mean right? When you're too tired to move from your position on the couch so you shout instructions from there and generally say yes to anything your offspring request just to make it easier on yourself.
Try to find some time for yourself. Oh right. Golly, I hadn't thought of that! You are sooooo right. I do need sleep. And food. Who knew? If I could have more rest/time to eat and sleep, then believe me, I sodding would. With or without this incredible insight, top tip and humble permission of yours!
The summer holidays are meant to be idyllic days spent with family having ice cream on sunny beaches. Unfortunately, for many parents the long summer holidays are a source of worry and stress. As schools break up, this is the last week that many parents will know what to do for childcare.
From the time we get pregnant, we are given advice by medical professionals, websites, friends, family and sometimes complete bloody strangers all of whom want us to believe that if we follow their advice, we can guarantee that our children will avoid harm.
This final Queen's Speech before the next general election has set out some important new opportunities to improve the lives of vulnerable children and the millions of families living in poverty across the country.
The beanpole family is a 21st century version of the extended family: with a long thin structure, this family has strong ties but lives apart. It's no surprise to modern families that parenting and families are different these days - lone parent, blended, sandwich, nuclear, extended, beanpole and everything else in between are now the norm.