“The current position in Scotland is just not good enough. Infant removals continue to this day. They do not lie in our past. This trend is found in other wealthy countries..yet elsewhere infant removals appear more subject to public scrutiny. An infant entering care in 2016, when the Independent Care Review was launched by the First Minister, will be 14 years of age by 2030. Hardly a sea change. More surely a glacial pace.”
“The Government must change, and fund change elsewhere. Organisations and institutions that for a long time have not provided good enough care must change, and any new organisation must be set up to meet the needs of those they support, not the system they are a part of… yet just because there are areas of concern does not negate the progress already made, and progress has been made.”
Failure to deliver on the Promise was inevitable – families were outside the tent, no status quo was upturned, no institutional power challenged, no radical, practical plan emerged. Just a Promise to do better.
In Scotland, one in every 85 children born between 2008 and 2017 was in public care at some time before their first birthday, separated from their mothers in their first year of life. These figures are shocking. They raise a basic question no one here seems to be asking: why and why so many?
Too often love is invoked when individuals, institutions and governments seek to disguise transactions involving power, in this case children in public care.
Janice McGhee and Lorraine Waterhouse examine the ‘Promise’ and find it wanting