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Thursday, February 23, 2017
Adoption agency protests over charges for police checks
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¬†The Catholic Children's Society has expressed concern at the new Criminal Records Bureau's (CRB) decision to charge for checks on would-be adopters. Director Jim Richards, Director of the Catholic Children's Society said "Before 1 March when the bureau became operative, there were no charges made for police and other checks on people wanting to adopt. Such a move now sends out entirely the wrong message at a time when the Government wants to see a 40 per cent increase in the number of children adopted out of the care of councils". Jim Richards pointed out that such children, because of their disturbed backgrounds, are often in need of a great deal of love and care. "Adopters are carrying out an invaluable service for society as a whole in what they are doing. It therefore rings a bit hollow when the CRB has told us that adoption is for the adopters' own benefit and that this is not a broader community issue " he said. "If someone comes to the Catholic Children's Society to act as a volunteer for a few hours a week in one of our family centres, the CRB levy no charge, but if adults take on a child for life in adoption, there is a fee to pay. This is in my view, a nonsense". He also said that it was not "joined up government" in the light of the Prime Minister's statement that adoption works for children and that many thousands have benefited from the generosity and commitment of adoptive families. Jim Richards ended by saying, "the fee at present is not a high one at £12.00 but this is a new government agency already under pressure. We need to remind ourselves that the fee adopters pay to make an application to a court so they can adopt a child was originally £30.00 and is now £100.00. It is also of concern that when I contacted the Department of Health's Adoption Unit, they did not seem to know about this and said it would take them a week to find out more before they could let me have their views".
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