New policies put youngsters first
ARE you under the age of 30? Are you in a stable relationship? Are you earning a significant salary?
Chances were, until very recent times, unless you could answer yes to all of those questions, you'd have had little or no chance of ever being able to adopt a child.
It didn't matter whether you could provide a loving home to a child who desperately needed one. It didn't matter that there were thousands more children nationwide in need of full-time care than there were approved adoptive parents.
But pioneering methods introduced by the county council aim to put an end to all that.
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As well as loosening the restrictions of both age and background under which people can qualify as adoptive parents, something else very significant has happened.
The red tape that could be so frustrating it would drive potential parents away from completing the process is being slashed.
Court times – particularly for second-time adopters or foster carers – are far shorter. And more social workers are now employed to assess those who put themselves forwards.
You've only got to read the story of Kathy Mason and her smiling six-year-old India to fully appreciate the progress that is being made.
She is completely fulfilled by her new role at the age of 51. In the past, she simply would not have been considered and it could have meant that India would be in a children's home rather than thriving at Winchcombe Abbey Primary School.
The harsh reality is that many children put up for adoption are deserted by parents who can't cope with them or are rescued from homes where they are completely unsafe. But they were let down by the system that was supposed to be proactive in finding them homes.
At last, through the new policies being adopted by the county council something has changed. The needs of the children are being put first.
PERFORMING first aid in an emergency at sea may seem very different to doing so at work in Gloucestershire.
But it's all about how you react in those moments immediately someone needs help.
For that reason alone, ex-marine Ben Limbrick will be worth listening to on his new workplace first aid courses.