HAYES IN THE HOUSE: By John Hayes
Growing up in a safe and happy home with a loving mother and father is the best start in life. Raised by wonderful, caring parents, who worked hard to give me every chance to succeed, I got just such a start.
Sadly though, not every child is so blessed. Through circumstances beyond their power or grasp, some small children grow up without the stable, nurturing love they need.
These disadvantages are compounded by failings in the care system. As the Prime Minister pointed out, too often children in care are let down by the state. Tragically, many of these vulnerable boys and girls grow up without hope or prospects, drifting into homelessness, petty crime or worse. No parent can avoid imagining their own children in similar circumstances.
We simply must not tolerate these failures any longer which is why, in the recent Queen’s Speech, to speed up the adoption process, the Government introduced the Children and Social Work Bill to ensure that children are moved from being in care to a loving family without the delays all too common currently. Where it’s the best thing for the child, the law will be changed to favour permanent adoption, including by foster carers. The social work profession will be reformed; social workers do tough, demanding jobs and it’s right that we raise the status and quality of the enormous role they play in making a difference to children’s lives.
We know that vulnerable children need long-term stability and the embrace of a loving family. Unashamedly pro-adoption, I believe that providing a caring, affectionate home for a child is the greatest of gifts.
There are few more imperative social reforms than improving our care system, saving children from disadvantage and so transforming their life chances. Everyone should have the hope of a brighter tomorrow, regardless of from where they start; all should be given the foundation to be able to achieve good and noble things.