Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The 'new' child protection scheme. Will it work?

The headlines in this morning’s Herald almost screamed at me. Was the Government finally going to fund a system that will really work and protect our young people? Will this end the terrible sight of young children being tossed like a rag doll into a tumble drier, or an uncaring parent beating their child to death? Given this and other Governments’ preference to cut money from our Social Services, is this just another ‘maybe promise’ that when played out for real may actually represent one more cut?
If one takes the proposal at face value, one could get a bit excited, but if it is really worked through and rolled out, I do not believe that the necessary money will be there. It does not take much of a mathematician to extrapolate out the figures and see that this could all be ‘pie in the sky’ stuff.
OK, I shall take off my cynical hat. We already have a good deal of interagency working relationships and schools and CYFS do work together. CYFS already contracts out to various agencies cases involving lower level issues within families. Those agencies vary in their effectiveness. If this new proposal helps to bring the agencies, school, families and other support people together, then great. One agency that already does this is the Strengthening Families organization. I have been part of many successful processes involving that group.
I suspect that there will be a bit of ‘Gravy Train’ stuff going on with this new proposal. There are many ‘Trusts’ and other organization out there, competing for the magic ‘dollar,’ and I wonder at how some of the decisions re-funding are made. I would like to be a ‘fly on the wall’ sometimes.
The bottom line is that of the well-being of the kids. We must never lose sight of that. If this ‘new’ initiative plays out to stop the awful scenes we regularly see on our screens’ then well and good. In the meantime I shall continue to work with CYFS and anyone else who can help deliver real change for our families.