You are right to call it a "scandal" to deny children homes with adoptive parents (November 6th).
And what a scandal it is. Compared to their peers children who graduate out of the system parentless are:
- 4 times more likely to be unemployed;
- 4 times more likely to have mental health problems;
- 12 times more likely to leave school with zero qualifications;
- 50 times more likely to be imprisoned;
- 60 times more likely to be homeless; and
- 88 times more likely to abuse drugs.
A quarter of girls leaving are already mothers or pregnant and their children in turn are 66 times more likely to be institutionalised.
On a recent visit to a prison I asked the Deputy Governor if he kept records on how many of the inmates were former system kids. There would not be much point, he told me. Why not, I asked? Well, it's nearly all of them, he replied.
The downstream cost of our failure to get these kids into permanent loving homes is huge.