Friday, 29 July 2016

Eve and Ella praised as "influential figures"!

I suppose we should both be flattered at being labelled as "influential". Particularly when the comment was made by somebody who has a lifetime of academic and practical experience in the twin areas of fostering teenagers and in the senior management of Children's Homes.

If only it were true!

The sad fact is that for years we have battled against the indifference and ignorance of paid professionals without converting more than a small number to our point of view. By most we are seen as an annoyance - unworthy to be included in the deliberations of the great and the good.

The end result is that life changing decisions are made by people who have no first hand experience of the Local Authority provision they have been tasked with overseeing. Inputs into the limited debate that does take place are carefully orchestrated and younger users of the service are usually excluded from the process.

Can you imagine a major retail outlet that has no interest in the views of the customers? Even Governments are called to account every five years by the people they aim to serve - that is the electorate. But when is comes to improving the life-chances of young people who come into the Care system for the first time as teenagers those most directly involved are marginalised at best or, more often, regarded as having nothing useful to contribute.

If you really want to depress yourself  read the document "Children in Care" - especially appendix 2.

In the section "Our Evidence Base" - there is no mention of asking former foster children or young people who actually lived in a Children's Home for their vews. Grrrrrrr!

By-the-way we sometimes wonder if readers of our blog are afraid to openly support our views. The number of readers we get is - by normal blogging standards - huge but the number of public comments people post about what we write is almost pathetically small.

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