Today I was invited by the British Association of Adoption and Fostering to be at a consultation with Prime Minister David Cameron to talk about how we see adoption become faster and fairer across the UK. Over the next week we should see some announcement regarding an action plan of changes in policy and practice on issues such as setting a limit on how long a child will have to wait to be adopted, re-examining the relative importance of ethnic matching for adoptive parents and exploring the relationship between local authorities and the national adoption register. As someone who has adopted across racial lines and as an adoptive parent who has seen one of our foster children have to wait over 3 years for a placement I am delighted by the way the government is championing this issue and making some real changes. After talking about the the challenges and opportunities for inter racial adoption I had the opportunity to ask one last question…
I asked the Prime Minister to make better use of the church as a fantastic network of potential adopters and as a community that can provide help and ongoing support to those that do adopt. I explained that I thought the Big Society was a big opportunity to work with the church (and other faith groups ) to help meet the huge need for adoptive and foster parents. Part of my role in the Evangelical Alliance is to work out a way to change the culture in our churches to make adoption and foster caring more normal. As I have been travelling around the UK I have come across so many Christians that are doing an amazing job as adopters, foster carers and social workers. I have met some amazing people and heard some incredible stories. Working with Care for the Family we want to try and learn from all the years of experience the church already has in this area and to talk to church leaders about what needs to happen to see a culture change in our churches to meet the need and see both the church and our culture transformed as we follow the example of our great God who is…
a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
6 God sets the lonely in families,[c]
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Together the churches across the UK can make a serious dent in the number of children waiting for a home. We will soon be revealing plans for a nationwide consultation on how we can make a difference to the thousands of children in the care system waiting for a home.
At the moment if you are an artist, a film maker or a writer and would like to get involved in the early stages of this project that will make a difference to hundreds of the poorest and most vulnerable children in our country please drop me a line…