...we have a problem. The outgoing director of Barnados, Martin Narey, highlights a crisis with adoption levels. He blames the negative attitudes of social workers to adoption as a child protection tool and over-zealous enforcement of same race adoption:
"Only 70 babies were adopted last year compared with 4,000 in 1976...The law is very clear. A child should not stay in care for an undue length of time while waiting for adoptive parents of the same ethnicity. But the reality is that black, Asian and mixed-race children wait three times longer than white children."
The closure of adoption agencies and the adoption door to those with religious views can't have helped either. He also launches a pretty vicious attack on the voluntary sector:
"The voluntary sector tends to assume it has the monopoly on compassion and is very sanctimonious. It can also be hugely and damagingly unrealistic about what can be done in the real world, indulging in perpetual carping and criticism of the government, which ceases to listen to them as a result. While some people in the sector are remarkable, I find the unpragmatic attitudes of most within it, very irritating indeed,"
From working in the voluntary sector for 15 years I can recognise the type but don't buy that it is "most".