Nagalro Press Release calling for for the reinstatement of s1(5) Children and Families Act 2014
05 September 2022
NAGALRO CALLS FOR REINSTATEMENT OF s1(5) CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACT 2014
Nagalro has submitted evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Children and Families Act 2014. For children in England (but not in Wales) the 2014 Act removed the requirement, in s1(5) Adoption and Children Act 2002, for those placing a child for adoption to ‘give due consideration to the child’s religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background’. Since October 2021, and before the Select Committee was announced, Nagalro has been arguing that this change was misguided and should be reversed.
Nagalro argues that the adopters best placed to meet all of the needs of black children are those with a similar religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background. Race, religion, culture and language are essential components of a child’s identity and the removal of s1(5) of the Adoption and Children Act treats these key elements of the child’s future sense of self as of no weight in the matching process. In its evidence to the Committee, Nagalro says that
‘Black children are in effect being treated differently from their white counterparts, who are almost certain to be placed with adoptive parents who reflect their cultural, religious and linguistic needs. The impact of the deletion of section1(5) of the Adoption and Children Act is that Black children are more likely to be placed with families who do not reflect their heritage and who are not able to meet their cultural, religious and linguistic needs. They are likely to grow up not being able to connect with their own communities nor sure that they will be fully accepted into the communities in which they have been placed. This sacrifice was considered to be in the children’s interests, as long as it reduced waiting times.’
Nagalro’s submissions continue that:
‘Their visibility as adopted children becomes more obvious, and their sense of self and their identity and development as Black children is significantly impaired. It is also likely to diminish their ability to deal with racism. In such circumstances, Nagalro considers this could be emotionally abusive and damaging to these children.’
Nagalro believes that it is necessary to, firstly, address the reasons why disproportionate numbers of black children find themselves in care and, secondly, why there are insufficient black adopters.
Nagalro is also concerned that there has been no follow-up research to review this change in the legislation and to find out whether the amendment has achieved the results which were argued for when the 2014 Act was enacted.
The full text of Nagalro’s evidence can be read at:
For further please information contact: Karen Harris, Principal Administrator on telephone 01372 818504 and email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
- Nagalro is the professional association for Family Court Advisers, Children’s Guardians and Independent Social Workers. Its members represent the interests of children in a range of public and private law proceedings. Nagalro members are senior, highly experienced children and family social workers who work in a variety of roles. Many work as independent social workers and risk assessors providing expert witness reports in a wide range of complex cases coming before the family courts; in fostering and adoption agencies; in independent practice providing therapeutic services; as academics; as supervisors, mentors and consultants. Members have significant experience as managers, chairs of Adoption Panels and other specialist social work practitioner roles.
- The Nagalro website is at www.nagalro.com