CPS policy on prosecuting criminal cases involving children and young people as victims and witnesses
[…] official figures show that 4,690 children in care were adopted in 2016, down from 5,360 in the previous year, and experts said further falls should be expected.
The latest statistics show there were 70,44o children in care in England in 2016, up 1% on 2015. Numbers have risen steadily every year since 2008, in the wake of the Baby P child protection scandal. Nearly three-quarters of children in care are with foster parents.
The increase includes a 54% rise in the number of unaccompanied asylum seeker children in care. There were 4,210 young asylum seekers in care at the end of March 2016, two-thirds of them in London and the south-east.
Many of the 70,000 children in the care of the state will have experienced abject neglect or abuse at the hands of parents unable or unwilling to provide the care and nurture that comes naturally to most families. While adoption will only be appropriate for a minority of these children, it can be transformative, offering them the best chance of growing up in a stable, permanent, loving home.
The 12% drop in the number of children being adopted in the year ending in March is therefore deeply concerning. Experts believe this will be followed by even steeper falls, as applications for placement orders, the first step in the adoption process, have fallen even more markedly.
This is an area fraught with sensitivity: the decision to remove a child from their parents’ care is one of the utmost gravity. Yet there is a great deal of evidence that in recent decades, courts have been too reluctant to make this call, at huge cost to children’s lives. Martin Narey, the former chief executive of Barnardo’s, observed in his 2011 investigation into the adoption system: “Frequently, a child is living in observed neglect for many months, years sometimes, before first being removed to care.” […]
Pressure is mounting for a public inquiry into the adoption of hundreds of thousands of babies born to unmarried women over a 30-year period amid claims from some mothers who say they were coerced into handing over their children.
A letter will be sent to the home secretary, Amber Rudd, next week from solicitors at two eminent law firms calling on her to convene a public inquiry into historical adoption practices in the UK. The solicitors say an inquiry would uncover the truth about the practices – stretching over three decades after the end of the second world war – and hold agencies to account.
Meanwhile more women have come forward to tell their stories of being pressured into having their babies adopted.
[…] About half a million babies, most born to unmarried women, were adopted in the 1950s, 60s and 70s when the Catholic church, Church of England and the Salvation Army ran “mother and baby homes” and adoption agencies in the UK. Adoption reached a peak in 1968, when more than 16,000 babies born to unmarried mothers were handed over to new families.
Safraz Ahmed, 34 anos, tratou por dois anos sua esposa como escrava. Matéria do The Guardian descreve o relacionamento de ambos como marcado por “violência, intimidação, agressão e miséria”. Safraz Ahmed foi o primeiro britânico condenado por tratar o cônjuge como escravo doméstico. Veja a matéria completa:
Partes do Reino Unido não têm unidades de saúde especializadas para avaliar crianças e adolescentes vulneráveis que sofram algum problema na esfera da saúde mental, forçando-os a ficar presos em celas ou em viaturas policiais por horas a fio.
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A maior força policial da Grã-Bretanha sofreu uma reprimenda humilhante por parte de um órgão oficial de fiscalização por não proteger as crianças e por atrasos na investigação sobre adultos que atacam e exploram os jovens.
O relatório de avaliação teve por base uma amostra de 384 casos de envolvendo crianças e concluiu que três quartos deles estavam abaixo do padrão. O documento aponta que as falhas são sistêmicas e envolvem erros de liderança, treinamento, organização e julgamento.
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