In an ideal world, nobody would need to be adopted, but this is not an ideal world. Adoption parties cannot prevent a child being taken into care, but they can help take them out of care. They give 'hard-to-place' children a greater chance of placement. They tackle some endemic problems in the adoption process.
Having spent three years working for a small charity, running a support and signposting service for young people, I decided the time was right to move on. During my final week, one of our volunteers approached and asked (very sweetly and with the best of intentions) "So, is it time to get a real job then?".
Today is World Social Work Day, but given the dire state of public services, many might reach a conclusion that there is little to celebrate. This year's theme of 'Promoting Social and Economic Equalities' does not sit comfortably with vulnerable people who are being told by social workers that they cannot have help because of funding cuts.
A survey of social workers published in Community Care today, in partnership with the NSPCC, reveals that just one in 10 were confident that children suffering neglect were being properly protected.
To mark the anniversary of Peter Connelly's death, the NSPCC is highlighting the on-going plight of our most vulnerable children. We have looked at the circumstances of around 35 baby deaths and found the same mistakes still being made over and over again. The same warning signs being missed, the same lessons for the future repeated over and over but not enough changing.
Nurses, teaching assistants, social workers, dinner ladies and paramedics are lining up at the picket lines to protect their pensions during the biggest strike in living memory. UNISON has said from the start that we want to reach a negotiated settlement, and that still stands. We were willing to take part in scheme specific talks, right up until 30 November and we are still committed to continuing negotiations. Action is a last resort, but after eight months of negotiations we still have no firm offer to put to a single public sector worker.