Adoption increase fails to stop baby deaths

By Ben Leapman, Daily Telegraph 17/09/2007

A dramatic rise in the number of newborn babies seized by social workers for forced adoption has failed to reduce the murder rate among babies.

Despite the action by social services, intended to protect children at high risk, the number of deaths has actually grown.

Critics claimed that the figures showed that social workers were tearing apart innocent families, while failing to protect babies at the greatest risk.

The concerns will add fresh weight to The Sunday Telegraph’s “Stop the Secrecy” campaign for greater openness in family courts. At present, judges sit in secret when deciding adoption cases, raising fears that miscarriages of justice go unnoticed.

Earlier this year, the Government abandoned plans to let the media publish anonymised reports on cases.

In 1995, when 540 newborns were removed for adoption, there were 17 murders in which the victim was less than a year old. A decade later, in 2005/6, 1,400 were taken, yet the murder total rose to 24.

Liz Davies, senior lecturer in social work at London Metropolitan University, claimed the failures were due to new techniques introduced following the murder of Victoria Climbie.

“Performance targets and the tick-box culture are undermining professional judgement,” she said.

In a separate development, ministers announced that 30 English councils shared a payout of £18 million this year for meeting Government targets to increase adoptions.

Critics say the targets give social workers an incentive to take away children who would be better off with their natural parents.


2 Responses to Adoption increase fails to stop baby deaths

  1. Steph Evans says:

    I think a lot of social workers play god, we adopted 6 years ago and then went for second adoption and had the worst social worker, she was a tick box person, the report she wrote about my husband and I made us sound like crazy horrible people, all our family and friends couldn’t believe the report. she was wicked and should have been struck off. We never got our second child because of her. We complained about her and they all stuck together. My husband and I have a philosophy that all social workers take children sometimes for not the right reasons and then they don’t get them adopted, they are all trying to keep themselves in jobs. If all the children who were up for adoption got adopted then there would be less jobs for social workers. They don’t put the children first and most of them are a bunch of hypocrites. We sympathise with families who have their children taken away and maybe one day if our daughter ever wants to meet her birth parents then we might have something in common with them. (We will all hate social workers.) The old fashioned social workers are the best the rest just like to play god.

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