Politicising foster care abuse to promote Forced Adoption: Call for adoption targets

Call for adoption targets and fewer family support services in Australia

The CIS is demanding that Tony Abbott forcibly take more children – for their protection!

The CIS  recommends that  authorities need to take more frequent legal action to have abused and neglected children adopted – Sammut’s definition of ‘neglected’ children, includes the children of single mothers, women who suffer domestic violence, mothers with mild intellectual disabilities and women who are homeless.  Another category rarely mentioned is children who were previously removed from their families, generally because of poverty, and placed in the foster care system.  Adults who have been in the foster care system are considered to be ‘at risk’ parents

Dr. Jeremy Sammut of the right wing conservative think tank: Centre for Independent Studies, is politicising the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Sammut  argues that  raising the number of adoptions and making Forced Adoption a key part of child protection policy will lower child abuse and prevent the formation of an underclass composed of unwed mothers and their children. Children who are destined to be ‘no hopers’ and  criminals.  Sammut criticises the Queensland’s Carmody Report for recommending that family preservation services be put in place. He does not support family preservation as he along with Louise Voigt, CEO of Barnardos, do not believe in the ‘rehabilitation’ of ‘ineffective’ parents.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/apr/15/call-for-adoption-targets-and-fewer-family-support-services-in-australia

Really for their protection!    Tell that to the Stolen Generations, Survivors of Forced Adoption and the British Child Migrant Scheme  and the Forgotten Australians. – Sammutt and the CIS are telling us not to believe what we know to be the outcome of Australia’s barbaric forced removal policies but rather what they tell us to believe.

Royal commission:  Department admits children still being abused in care

“A senior bureaucrat in the Department of Family and Community Services charged with improving child protection has admitted young people in care were still suffering sexual and physical abuse by their carers.

However she told the hearing before Justice Peter McClellan she was aware of recent cases where children had died from physical abuse while in care and children who had suffered sexual abuse at the hands of their carers.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/royal-commission-department-admits-children-still-being-abused-in-care-20140303-33xut.html

“”There will be some people who choose to misuse their power with children, who are very good at not being detected,” she said.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-03-03/children-in-nsw-foster-care-still-at-risk-royal-commission/5294958

The above statements represent only the tip of the iceberg

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/man-jailed-for-abusing-girl-while-she-was-in-foster-care-20140711-zt447.html

 The Carers  – Excerpt – A Stolen Generation in the Making: Part 5

At present there are 500 NSW foster carers under investigation for alleged inappropriate behaviour.[1] More than 300 cases were classified as being part of a “backlog” as they had been running for nine months or more, and some as long as two years.[2] 50% of the allegations under investigation are deemed serious.[3]   A man accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour was allowed to continue fostering children and later confessed to raping a child in his care.[4] The man had come to the  attention of the Ombudsman in 2010, but nothing was done and he was allowed to continue fostering until 2012, when he was accused by another teenager of sexual assault. It was then that the other children in his care were removed.[5]  The Opposition’s family and community services spokeswoman, Linda Burney, states:

With the outsourcing of foster care to the non-government sector, the question has to be asked, ‘What is the department doing to make sure that carers going into the non-government sector are properly being screened’?[6]

This is not the first time there has been concern about adequate screening of foster carers.  In 2010 Adele Horin exposed problems with the quality of carers and abuse of children in foster care during an investigation by the Herald.  Horin revealed that the state’s biggest foster care agency, Life Without Barriers (LWB), was being investigated by the NSW Ombudsman’s office over concerns it failed to properly check the background of its carers.[7] Concern was raised when a man with a history of sexual abuse was authorised as one of their foster carers and was given the care of an abused teenage boy. Two more allegations of sexual abuse emerged about its carers during the same year. LWB at the time, had federal and state contracts worth $200 million a year.[8]  It outsourced recruitment to independent contractors who were paid to find and assess prospective carers.  It paid contractors a weekly fee for each child placed with their carers.  The Supporters of Carers, as the contractors are known, or SOCs, do not need relevant welfare qualifications.  The system presents a financial disincentive to report problems because a SOC’s income is dependent on the number of children who are placed –and remain – with carers. There was a great deal of concern about the lack of “rigour of the agency’s system for recruiting foster carers in NSW”.[9]

At the time the alarm was raised by former staff when it was revealed that a coalition of NGO’s were pressuring the state government to shift foster care entirely on to the non-government sector.  Community Services was responsible for 85% of foster carers, with the remainder contracted by NGO’s.[10]   LWB was responsible for more than 1000 children and received $140 million a year in state contracts alone for foster care. According to Horin, “it had a phenomenal growth in the past decade.  Critics believe the growth in foster care is due to a recruitment model that is good for business expansion, but not for children”. When the Herald newspaper viewed some internal documents they revealed that in October 2010, 14% of the 573 foster carers in the Sydney area did not have the legally mandated Working With Children Check, which includes a check of the relevant criminal records.  63% did not have the more extensive Criminal Record Check as required by LWB policy.  The recruitment of foster carers was outsourced by LWB to 30 contractors with no special qualifications.  The contractors were paid $350 to access potential carers.  For providing 24 hour support, they were paid a continuing fee of between $150 and $200 per child placed with carers.  The system provided a financial incentive for contractors to support their carers and to minimise problems.  The contractors or SOCs, earned up to $300,000 a year.  The SOCs were only supposed to employ 20 carers, but one had nearly double that amount. In addition some SOCs had subcontracted the carers they were supposed to monitor. Poorly screen carers proved a recipe for disaster:

Former and current staff told the Herald that last year there was a backlog of 180 allegations about carers some two years old and serious.  Former and current staff told the Herald that many foster carers lived in tough Housing Department areas and “are raking in thousands tax-free”.[11]

Appallingly there was a financial incentive to break up sibling groups as the second and subsequent siblings were paid at a lower rate compared with unrelated groups of children. According to former staff: “There are many cases where siblings were split up”.  An LWB spokeswoman said more than 97% of LWB’s children had only one or two placements in a year compared with a 47.5% rate for the whole sector.[12] One must ask is that because they have a financial interest to protect rather than the child?

So it seems the warnings were there in 2010, but with the rush to get part of the financial pie now available in child protection, they were not heeded. Caroline Overington, warned of the risks of shifting the management of foster care and adoption to NGOs in 2008:  “There are close to 13,000 children in state care in NSW, and the numbers are rising rapidly … An increasing number of foster homes are being managed by private corporations, which have stormed into NSW as tens of millions of dollars become available for those providing welfare services … The Australian spent several weeks visiting foster children in their homes, some which were overcrowded and dirty”. The Create Foundation, an advocate for young people in care, warned that “children are removed to readily and that there were already too many in care”.[13]  Hence the warnings were there in 2008, 2010 and yet again in 2013.

[1] Foschia, L. (2013, Sep 16). “FACS boss reveals 500 NSW foster carers are being investigated over alleged inappropriate behaviour’, ABC, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-16/500-nsw-foster-carers-investigated-over-behaviour/4959846

[2] NSW faces 500 foster abuse claims, (2013, Sept 13). News.com, http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/nsw-faces-500-foster-abuse-claims/story-e6frfku9-1226720164534

[3] Foschia, L. (2013, Sep 16). “FACS boss reveals 500 NSW foster carers are being investigated over alleged inappropriate behaviour’, ABC, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-16/500-nsw-foster-carers-investigated-over-behaviour/4959846

[4] ibid

[5] NSW faces 500 foster abuse claims, (2013, Sept 13). News.com, http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/nsw-faces-500-foster-abuse-claims/story-e6frfku9-1226720164534

[6] ibid

[7] Horin, A. (2010, Dec 14). ‘Child’s agency’s background checks under cloud’, SMH, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/child-agencys-background-checks-under-cloud-20101213-18vi0.html

[8] Adele Horin. (2010, Dec 13). ‘Foster carer linked to sex abuse slipped past the barriers’, SMH, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/foster-carer-linked-to-sex-abuse-slipped-past-the-barriers-20101212-18u1w.html

[9]Adele Horin. (2010, Dec 13). ‘Foster carer linked to sex abuse slipped past the barriers’, SMH, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/foster-carer-linked-to-sex-abuse-slipped-past-the-barriers-20101212-18u1w.html

[10] ibid

[11] Horin, A. (2010, Dec 14). ‘Child’s agency’s background checks under cloud’, SMH, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/child-agencys-background-checks-under-cloud-20101213-18vi0.html

[12] Horin, A. (2010, Dec 14). ‘Child’s agency’s background checks under cloud’, SMH, http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/child-agencys-background-checks-under-cloud-20101213-18vi0.html

[13] Caroline Overington. (2008, Nov 21). ‘Former judge fails to meet children in preparing care report’, The Australian, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/archive/news/children-ignored-in-care-report/story-e6frg6o6-1111118098172?from=public_rss

 

There is a record number of children being removed – but at what cost!

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/record-number-of-children-in-care/story-fn59niix-1227000730368

About apologyalliance

For Bio info click on - About - tab and 'A bit about me' Dr. Christine A. Cole Convenor Apology Alliance Australia
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One Response to Politicising foster care abuse to promote Forced Adoption: Call for adoption targets

  1. Pingback: New Documentary exposes UK child trafficking under guise of Forced Adoption: KIDS FOR PROFIT | Apology Alliance Australia

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