Monday, 31 October 2011

National Adoption Week

65,000 Children in care in the UK. 65,000 is too many children in care.  Of these 65,000 kids, 3600 are babies and only 60 were adopted last year. National Adoption Week is the once a year chance to highlight the plight of these kids who really just want someone to care for them and love them.

The worst part of all this is that often it is not the lack of people wanting to foster or adopt these kids it is the very system that is suppose to protect them that is really letting them down.  The result of which is that many of these children spend their informative years in care and then go on to become tomorrows criminals.

I remember six years ago, my husband, Ron and I were having dinner with some friends. It was National Adoption Week and the publicity had made them think about fostering a child. Ron and I said we had always thought about adoption but as we had travelled so much it never seemed an appropriate time to adopt. We now considered ourselves too old to which they replied there is no age limit anymore. The next day we contacted our local council for information.

It took 5 months to get the first appointment with a Social Worker from the Council and another year to go through the screening process before finally being approved to adopt. We just needed the official notification of approval. That took another 3 months to come through. After receiving the notification another few months went by during which time we heard nothing from anyone.  We received no information about kids available for adoption and no communication from our Social Worker or Council.  So we notified our Council we wanted to go on the National Register. This went down like a ton of bricks.  'We like you to wait 12 months before going on the register' was the reply. We were now 2 years into the adoption process and not getting any younger so we insisted we be put on the National Register. We never went on the register as  surprisingly a couple of days later a child was available for us to consider adopting.  She was 8 years old. She lived in North England. We said yes and a few days later the Social Workers representing her came down to see us. Yes, we thought, things are starting to move now.

It took the North England Social Workers six months to decide if we should be put forward to a matching panel to consider if the now 9 year old girl should be allowed to move in with us.  Once she had moved in it was another 15 months before we were given their support to file for the adoption to be made final. This was only after we contacted NSPCC for a Child Advocate to represent our daughter. (another story to be told at another time)

Our 12 year old daughter is an absolute delight. She is witty and intelligent. Has a very caring and loving nature. She has wound around her little finger not just us but all our friends, family and even the teachers at her school who all describe her as adorable. She has her demons though not only from her past before she was taken into care but from the trauma of being in care. Moved between Foster Carers(most of whom do a wonderful job) and having numerous Social Workers, this comes out in the nightmares she endures. Once a nightly event they now rarely occur. Something we like to think is because we are providing the love and stability she needs.

It is National Adoption Week and I am sure there are many loving and caring families able to provide a nuturing home for one or more of the 65,000 kids who find themselves in care if only the system and the workers within the system will give them a fair chance.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

October Book Review - Surviving 2012

Four years ago in 2007, in unprecedented scenes, Northern Rock had a run on it's branches which saw Northern Rock Bank become nationalised. It was the forerunner to the 2008 Credit Crunch.  Now four years later banks are still in financial difficulty. The almost daily notification of downgrades in credit worthiness of banks comes as no surprise. Countries which printed or borrowed endless money used to bail out their banks are themselves on the brink of bankruptcy.  The implementation of severe austerity measures as countries try and reduce their debt and GDP ratios has only contributed to high inflation, high unemployment and low economic growth. The world is on the brink of a depression unlike anything we have ever seen. Worse than the 1930's Great Depression.  Governments don't know how to solve the problems. They keep fighting with the same old tools that got us into the situation we currently find ourselves in. Instead of improving things it makes them worse. We are facing an enormous disaster and very few people are aware it is coming.

In my fifth book, Surviving 2012, due for release in January 2012, I discuss ways of improving your financial education and preparing for the biggest economic disaster of our lifetime. If you are looking for a know it all answers for everything type of book then this is not for you.  This book has been written as a basic financial book for beginners giving some fundamental information that could can help you survive 2012 and beyond.  The greatest financial disaster of a lifetime is almost upon us. Those with financial education will make it through the coming storm, not unscathed, but in a better position than those not prepared for it. 

As the financial world we know changes forever a great transfer of wealth is beginning and Surviving 2012 can help you share in it.

Surviving 2012 by Karen Newton due for release in January 2012.