Child Protection is a huge money earner and this means that decision making is not financially unbiased. Last year over 4,000 babies in the UK were placed on the 'At Risk Register' before they were born and hundreds are taken into care soon after. Without doubt some of those babies were truly at risk, but many of them were taken for very questionable reasons. Conflicts of interests, where decision-makers stand to benefit financially from the decisions they are making, can seriously bias decisionmaking.1 Very large financial interests are in play. Williams2 has suggested how some of these financial processes operate:
After 20 years of outsourcing, the bulk of children's homes are run by private companies, with money sucked upwards into one or two private equity companies, GI Partners or Bowmark Capital or BairdCapital. Two-thirds of fostering provision is controlled by the private sector. Only 11% of children's homes are run by charities; the third sector started off quite big in children's care, as you'd expect, meeting local-authority contracts by spending their own reserves. Eventually, though, the private sector underbid them, and they went bust or moved into other services.
Having whittled down the competition, the private sector became eye-poppingly expensive: £200,000 is actually a low estimate, based on overall spending of £1bn on 5,000 children in residential care homes in England. In 2009, it was leaked that CastleCare, which runs 40 homes in Northamptonshire, was charging £378,000 a year for a residential place. This would be money well spent if the care was brilliant, but it isn't. Only 2.5% of children's homes have an Ofsted rating of "outstanding...1,2
The cash flow does not stop there. Many psychiatrists, paediatricians and lawyers are earning huge fees giving councils the opinions they want. Give the wrong opinion and they are not asked again. Add to that the money paid to foster carers, care workers and social workers the costs are eye watering. Who benefits? Certainly not many of the babies and children. Indeed, if some of the money was spent on supporting families, it could have long term benefits for families and society, and cost less.
AIMS Journal, 2017, Vol 29 No 3 A huge welcome to readers old and new! The AIMS Journal, the backbone of our work for nearly 60 years, is now entirely available online, t…Read more
AIMS Journal, 2017, Vol 29 No 3 Jo Dagustun reports on the INFANT trial study day in October 2017 This national (central Birmingham based) free-to-attend study day on the…Read more
AIMS Journal, 2017, Vol 29 No 3 Ann Roberts shares her story of how AIMS helped her back in 1983 I first contacted AIMS 34 years ago (1983), when I was pregnant with my s…Read more
To register your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org or keep an eye on our website https://www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/mbrrace-uk/bookings . Earlybird bookings will open…Read more
17–21 October 2018 Further DetailsRead more
AIMS AGM 2018 All members welcome! Please email email@example.com if you plan to attend to help us to judge numbers, or if you wish to send apologies 10 for 10.30 sta…Read more
Dr. Ágnes Geréb is a Hungarian obstetrician and midwife who has been under house arrest following her support for women outside of the obstetric system. March 2018: ENCA…Read more
AIMS submitted our response to this consultation on the 23 January 2018. A number of regulators, including the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the Professional Standards A…Read more
Beverley Lawrence Beech At an AIMS AGM it is customary for the Chair to give an account of the activities of the Committee during the year. I am not going to do that this…Read more