Let’s take a quick look at Faith in Families (formerly the Catholic Children’s Society) in Nottingham.
This organisation (officially, in law, a ‘charity’) provides various children’s services in the East Midlands – the main service appearing to be its function as an adoption agency.
According to its most recently published Annual Report, in the year 2018/19, Faith in Families had a total income of just over one million pounds, most of which (£886,133) came from what it describes as its “charitable activities”.
For the year ended 31 March 2019, the bulk of the organisation’s “charitable activities” income was the £642,107 received for “Adoption services: Placement, assessment and support”.
Yet in the year 2018/19, just 24 children were actually placed for adoption.
(The charity’s expenditure under the same category, “Adoption services: Placement, assessment and support”, was £574,541.)
So, as a crude average, for each child Faith in Families actually placed with an adoptive family in 2018/19, its average income was £26,750.
In 2018/19, Faith in Families had on average a total of 33 employees over that year. Of these, 15 employees were categorised under “Adoption services”.
So, over one year, it took 15 employees dedicated specifically to the adoption process to get 24 children adopted.
Yet at least 3,000 children in the East Midlands area are currently said to be in need of adoption, and are presumably languishing in residential or foster care.
The annual worth to somebody or other, directly or indirectly, of each and every child being adopted or fostered runs into the tens of thousands of pounds. With so many children stuck in long-term residential or foster care, and so few being adopted, yet with so much money being spent on fostering and adoption services, are we looking at a system that works in the best interests of the children, or are we looking at a money-spinning gravy train for those on the inside of what is really a child-commodity industry? Are vulnerable children being served or exploited? Would most of the lawyers, social workers, carers and other ‘child professionals’ remain involved in ‘helping children’ if there were little or no money to be made? Truly charitable people are committed to giving rather than taking from others. A system in which thousands of children remain stuck in ‘care’ for months or years is a broken system. Why are adults working in this system seemingly so incapable of a radical improvement in their efficiency and effectiveness? Are these childcare professionals actually helping children, or are they really helping themselves?