The stuff of barbarism- a baby torn from a loving mother for ever.
But it’s just another day for the Social worker walking briskly towards a ward, baby carrier on arm to whisk a baby to a stranger approved by the state.
Job done, baby protected, agency paid.
How more easily could at least £27,000 be earned than from the finding of parents for a new born baby ?
A distasteful impersonal ‘transaction’ sanctioned by law, happening daily in UK hospitals only.
The horror unseen, the damage unknown, the social obscenity not even discussed.
The mother presumed such a monster her own baby needs protection and so deserves her fate
But does she ?
Her husband failed to attend an Anger Management Course because of LA cuts, she’s has a mental disorder, drug/drink issues or learning disability or simply had relationships with violent men in the past or herself has just left care and is homeless.
Those most in need are those whose babies are most ‘at risk’- easy targets, easy money.
This is child protection, now outsourced by LAs to corporations worth millions .
By 2016 2,700 babies were being removed each year.
After those under one month taken into care had already increased from 1,400 in 2010 to 2,013 in 2013 (years to 31 March)
John Hemming here argues why this is happening and produces evidence that this has not helped child protection by decreasing the number of child deaths, abuse and neglect
And it is illegal under Human Rights and EU law which states that when taking a child into care, the European courts are prepared to give domestic authorities a wide margin of appreciation and this is not normally in breach of Art 8, P, C and S v The United Kingdom  35 EHRR 31, as
“a temporary measure to be discontinued as soon as circumstances allow,” but in the UK it is forever.
Nothing illustrates the greed, ruthlessness and efficiency of our child protection system more than the story of Alessandra Pacchieri ,an Italian citizen, who whilst staying in a Stansted Hotel on a Ryanair training course rang the police when she had a panic attack, they contacted her parents who were looking after her two children and were told she had a bipolar condition and had not been taking her medication because she was pregnant.
Police arrived in her hotel room offering to take Alessandra to a hospital to check out her baby, but instead used their s136 MHA power to take her to ‘a place of safety’ where she was mentally assessed and sectioned under the MHA.
Ten weeks later, without informing Alessandra, the local health authority obtained an order enabling doctors to deliver her baby girl by caesarean, whilst Essex County Council simultaneously began care proceedings enabling her baby to be born into care and adopted.
Alessandra was anesthetised and awoke to find her baby removed from her womb and her life forever, despite a friend and the grandparents offering to care for the baby and Alessandra promising to take her medication.
The Telegraph publication of this horror and the political disgust of Italy, forced Sir James Munby to comment it was time to “call a halt” to the tendency to apply for adoption orders based on “sloppy” or non-existent assessment of alternatives which would not irrevocably break-up families.
But little appears to have changed.
So what in 2009 saw many childrens Charities diversify into adoption.?
An Intergency Adoption Fee in 2008 was payable by the government to an agency at
12,660 for an adoptive family approved by another LA (from 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008)
£19,889 for families from Voluntary Adoption Agency
with an additional fee of £3,315 to cover post adoption services (the post adoption support module).
London LAs and VAAs are also able to charge an additional 10% London weighting
In 1978 the fee had been £3,370 for each child adopted
But note not for infants under 18 months presumably thought to easy to place to warrant a fee.
In order to protect the fee against inflation this fee was then linked to 50% of point 19 on the social work salary scale, increasing automatically each year in line with nationally negotiated salary increases.
Over the years, the scheme has been regularly reviewed. Each major review has been dominated by concerns that the fee has not accurately reflected the expenditure incurred by the voluntary sector.
And in 2013 the fee of £13,000 per adoption paid to LAs was increased to the.Voluntary adoption agencies rate of £27,000 to facilitate adoptions
£27,000 for placing 1 child 2. £43,000 for placing 2 siblings in 1 adoptive family 3. £60,000 for placing 3 siblings in 1 adoptive family 4. £68,000 for placing 4 siblings in 1 adoptive family 5. £80,000 for placing 5 or more siblings in 1 adoptive family
And then in addition, it appears in 2015 the government began subsidising the inter-agency fee by way of a grant for all children falling into the ‘harder to place’4 category in 8 July 2015.
£27,000 for placing 1 child
£43,000 for placing 2 siblings in 1 adoptive family
£60,000 for placing 3 siblings in 1 adoptive family
£68,000 for placing 4 siblings in 1 adoptive family
£80,000 for placing 5 or more siblings in 1 adoptive family
For those deemed ‘harder to place children’.
It would appear easy for commercially aware adoption corporations to claim these additional fees, as the government criteria for the harder to adopt catagory could potentially cover most children in care, as these babies/children only need to be ‘suspected of’ a Learning disabilities/difficulties, Special Health Needs, Behaviour problems, Developmental delay, Attachment difficulties Parental learning difficulties Prenatal exposure to alcohol or drugs Parental mental health issue
So if they have vulnerable parents, their learning disability, mental disorder or substance abuse issues would automatically put their children at risk of disability/developmental delay and deemed ‘harder to adopt’ and worth far more money to an adoption agency.
If my reading of the payment as an additional £27,000 is correct, that would mean an adoption agency would be paid a whopping £54,000 for a learning disabled/ abuse user’s baby/child as it would be deemed ‘hard to adopt’.
And it appears this money can be claimed even without an actual adoption, as from voluntary adoption guidance it appears the first third is non refundable, justified by the fact that many adopters do not go on to take another placement and those that do will need to be re-assessed
In addition even the second third is usually non refundable also, but there may be some situations when a placement breaks down during introductions, or at a very early stage where both agencies decide they wish to come to an agreement based on the particular circumstances e.g. short duration of placement, limited travel and staff time involved in a local placement.
Surely this laissez- faire attitude to payment of huge sums of public money is wasteful and anathema to speedy stable adoptions.
A comment in the internet from an adoptive parent from an agency, seems to confirm that it is not necessarily the hard to adopt that are placed with agencies;
‘I just no longer believe the idea that if you are approved by a Voluntary Agency you have to wait ages for a match and then it’s with an older or more complex child. There were profiles of tiny babies sent to us, many of them’.
Plans have been introduced for the development of Regional Adoption Agencies to replace some of the 189 individual local authority and voluntary adoption agencies which will make finding adopters easier yet there appear no plans to decrease inter-agency fees and grants.
In Northern Ireland, an agreement exists between the five Health and Social Care Trusts that a contribution towards the total cost of recruiting and assessing prospective adopters is paid by Trusts where children are placed with prospective adopters approved by other Trusts.
A fee of only £6,000 is paid by the placing Trust for a single child and an additional £2,000 for the first sibling placed at the same time and a further £1,000 for any other siblings placed. In the event that a sibling is subsequently placed with the same adopters, a further fee of £3,000 is charged to the placing Trust.
Despite this fee being less than a quarter of the rest of the UK, the Northern Ireland adoption rates are approximately 4.13% to England’s 5.98%.
(successful adoptions from the care population being 120 adopted from Care population 2016/17 2900 compared with 4350 in England out of a care population of 72,670)
So merely throwing money at adoption appears to increase agency profits but not adoption rates.
And the proof of the pudding is successful outcomes for these children and a decrease in actual abuse but where are these measured ?
It appears even adoption breakdowns when these children are forced to re enter care are not being properly monitored.