Last month David Cameron challenged Local Authorities to do better on adoption. He cited shocking statistics that out of 3600 children under the age of one who are in care in the UK, only sixty were adopted last year.
As a solicitor specialising in claims against Social Services for children who have been let down this is not a surprise. Time and again we come across cases where children have been lost in the system.
Social Services across the country are often guilty of delay in intervening to protect children and in dealing with children once intervention has taken place.
The older the child the harder it often is to place them for adoption yet this does not seem to register sometimes with Local Authorities.
We are dealing with a wide range of cases arising from Local Authorities failure to act, including cases where children have been placed with inappropriate foster parents.
It is interesting that the Government are now producing performance tables to register how well Local Authorities do with children in care, although I must admit to being cynical about the extent to which this will improve matters. I also find it difficult to see how the Government can deal with looking after children in care where an Authority is persistently falling towards the bottom of the league table. It may improve accountability but whether it will really make any difference to the most neglected and abused children in society remains to be seen.