Child Protection

The UK is fast attracting a poor reputation as one of only two countries in the western world where forced adoption is a cornerstone of child protection policy. The removal of a child from its parents against their wishes is one of the most dire events that can happen to anyone, yet forced adoption is rapidly becoming the norm. Once a forced adoption has taken place, there is no recourse for the parents. They are gone forever with no contact being allowed.

Of course, there are genuine instances where there is no alternative but British Independents believes that forced adoption should be the very last alternative and that proceedings must be subject to proper scrutiny instead of being hidden behind an overly secretive legal process.

Ministers will point out that forced adoption is just one facet of a child protection regime that is considered to be robust and focused on the needs of children. However, the evidence points to the contrary. Government targets for adoption are incentivising local authorities to maintain a consistent supply of easy to adopt children. Often the private sector, including US venture capitalists, drives the ramp up in local authority interventions for profit. Supported by the secrecy of the family justice system, local authorities have a blank cheque for legal fees compared to families who are often left defenceless, without legal aid or representation.

Whilst government and its media outlets currently trumpet an upsurge in adoption statistics, what they don't tell you is that adoptions have increased spectacularly for babies and young children but the rate for older, 'hard to place' children, whom the targets were supposed to assist, has fallen through the floor. The UK may have a robust child protection system but it's the only one in the world from which parents are fleeing the country in their hundreds.

British Independents will remove the target culture, open up the family justice system to public scrutiny, and prosecute professionals who abuse their authority. The existing criminal offence of misconduct in public office will be strengthened to include anyone who knowingly causes or allows a child to suffer harm, even when another agency is involved. A new regulatory framework will deliver a coherent, cross-agency capability to hold all public officials properly to account.

FOOTNOTE: Our party leader, David Gale, is the voluntary CEO of KidsForCashUK.org and has been involved in exposing corruption, malpractice and collusion within local authority children's services, the police, and the courts. He continues to be at the forefront of the drive to expose paedophiles and, working with victims, was recently successful in his public call to Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner for a review of historic sex abuse cases. As such, it may be construed that he has an personal interest in this policy, and you'd be right. So here is that interest declared.

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