Thursday, September 21, 2006

Why can't we have REAL NEWS?

There's been a lot on the news about the allegedy failings of the UK care system. This BBC article for example, which offers the shocking news that "Of the 6,000 who leave care each year, 4,500 will have no qualifications and a fifth will be homeless", and a number of other similarly shocking statistics.

Now I'm not saying the UK care system is good, nor indeed as good as it should be but there are a few things they haven't mentioned here:

1) At what age were these kids taken into care? After 15 years with bad parents and 6 months in a foster home, I think the blame for a child not achieving his or her potential might in some cases lie with the local authority for not spotting that the child needed to be taken into care soon enough.

2) Why were these children taken into care? Now I grew up in what can only be described as an abusive household. However I had very good results at school in tests, etc and I was never in trouble with the law (not least because I knew what would happen to me if I did). So no-one ever questioned whether I was in a suitable home, etc. The "triggers" they look for are things like poor school results and criminal activity. And then they're surprised that the kids they find have low academic resuts and high rates of criminal activity.

I'm all in favour of improving the system but doesn't seem that current criticism can be taken to mean very much given the lack of statistically useful data.

No comments: