Articles by Abe Laurens
After many years in social work with local authorities and the voluntary sector, now a consultant working with children, young people and their families.
Race to the bottom commissioning
Writers are obsessed not just with words but with wordcount. That innocuous, humble figure in the drop-down menu or nestling innocently in the bottom left hand corner of your screen should be a record of achievement. Instead, too often it’s a curse, an ever-tightening straitjacket on the creative flow. Blogging at least allows me to […]
Rich pickings in foster care
In January the Financial Times carried a piece about the investment potential for private companies seeking to invest in foster care. Entitled Fostering Sector Ripe For Consolidation, it begins in seductive fashion not with high finance or balance sheets but with the personal experience of carers who are clearly dedicated to the disabled child they […]
Adoption: Threats and divisions as Gove loses patience
We’ve known for some time now that as far as working with children in care are concerned, adoption is the government’s absolute priority. A series of announcements over the past 15 months or so have focused on different aspects of the process. Last week came the latest and potentially most radical, where failing authorities could […]
Normal service will not be resumed
“Listen to ministers and you could be forgiven for believing that although cuts in the public sector are necessary, services will be maintained.” Abe Laurens describes the adverse impact on the fostering sector of benefit changes and how these will effect the number of placements available.
Rotherham: truth and politics
The only time I read my local paper is at the Indian takeaway. Whilst waiting for my korahi chicken yesterday evening, I disinterestedly flicked through the familiar mix of parking problems, noisy neighbours and oversubscribed schools. I nearly skipped the article buried on page 11 about a man who died after an error from his GP, because I […]
What the BBC can learn from social work
One of the biggest problems faced by the social work profession is that everybody else thinks they know what we do, and most of them think they can do it too. Not the nasty bits like taking children away from their families, but knowing when a child is being neglected or abused. I’ve written about […]