1. The injustice of companies profiting from vulnerable children and the inevitable conflict of interests.

There are many children today who disconnected from their parents for various reasons have faced tragedy, abuse and injustice without ever having any real opportunity to speak out or communicate their pain to anyone who they believe would ever understand or care. Across the world millions of vulnerable children often lose their voice within society, simply as a consequence of their tragic circumstances and often turbulent and challenging backgrounds which places them in a system of private care and education that on so many levels fails to meet their needs.

These children will always present very specific challenges to society, challenges that require a lot of attention and care. Support systems including those overseen by the Government, Police, Judiciary and Society in general often desperate for any solution, justify that anyone who is willing to care for these children, although often far from the ideal carers are better than no carer at all. This includes Private Investors who’s principle duty is to profit from their investments and in this case from the misfortune of the children.
The real tragedy is that often no matter how much evidence has shown how poorly these children are cared for and no matter how extreme the violence may be that they have been subjected to as a result, there remains a failure to take responsibility for their care by those in positions of power originally charged with that duty.

Instead millions of pounds are continually given to private companies in the hope that somehow they can fulfil their promises of a magical solution in fixing what seems irreparably broken.

Incredibly Governments choose to fund higher cost Private care when it is often the worst care. How does this happen and should it be tolerated?

One would assume that it would follow that the excessive funding of Private organizations would equate to an ability to demand excessively high standards and positive outcomes. Unfortunately as Governments continue to critically cut funds from State funded care, resulting in lower standards and expectations, there becomes no other option than to support a privatized service that simply needs at worst, to purport to outperform an increasingly stretched and under resourced competition.

As monopolies of private companies have grown, they have levered themselves into the position of often being seen as the last resort for many stakeholders. Parents, Carers, Teachers, Social workers and other interested parties find that in reality they have very little say or influence over how these organizations decide to care for the children. The carers and support networks realize that if they are unsatisfied and express this in any way that may cause a breakdown in relations, they may find that they are suddenly left with no option of full time support at all. This is often a daunting and motivating factor in keeping any complaints of poor standards to a minimum and accepting whatever treatment is delivered to the children, no matter how undesirable.

Many of the companies and corporations through slick marketing and administration, are adept at portraying on paper and online, a service that offers the highest standards of care, when in reality a proven lack of oversight and transparency of a large corporation can mean that what the children actually experience, is oftentimes a million times removed from that.

To demonstrate apparent high standards companies need only to reach or manipulate certain statutory targets, which whether a true representation or not, are critically used to denote success or failure. If you can, as some corporate representatives do, have direct influence over Government policy, you can then control and determine those targets and the issues that affect them in the interests of your company. As a consequence of this influence on policy, dealing with issues often deemed by professionals to be essential to the success of caring for vulnerable children such as well being, self esteem and safety, but that are also deemed extremely costly and to require intense investment into multiple resources to support, can now take a backseat to other issues. Prioritizing indicators such as statutory testing, efficient record keeping and statistics as the primary markers of success, create less demand from the same children and much less demand on resources and consequently company profits. Essentially the restoring of the broken lives of these children and protecting their emotional well being becomes a secondary concern to ticking the right boxes to garner the highest levels of profit, finance and funding.

Why allow a perverse incentive for Private Companies to fail in caring for the most vulnerable.

A Profitable Business within this industry is essentially paid to look after broken children, once those children are restored they no longer provide the investors with any profit. Essentially if the children are invested in to the best of the company’s ability both financially and emotionally, there would come a point sooner rather than later when they are no longer dependent on the specialist provision the companies provide, effectively depriving the company of further business. On the contrary when a company chooses to divert funds elsewhere, whether to shareholders or investors and consequently neglect investment in the children, not only are the standards of care kept minimal but as a result, children are likely to become even more damaged and challenging and in turn more dependent on the provision. As a consequence companies can demand even more funds to cope with the higher demands of children who’s needs have now increased as a result of poor care standards. It becomes a never-ending cycle, as the Government become more dependent on the services for longer periods of the children’s lives, increasing profits and the motivation for companies to consciously or subconsciously choose to maximize profit by minimizing care.

So what’s the Solution to ensure a generation is not irreparably damaged by this practice.

A successful society will always be underpinned by the idea of a care system that takes responsibility for caring for damaged and vulnerable children and doing all we can to restore them to live as successful and functioning members of society we cannot afford for the emotional and physical damage already done to these individuals to be exacerbated, knowing that one day they will be out of care and needing the tools to interact and function safely with every other child or adult within each and every community without consistently being a threat to themselves and others. It follows that this ideal is made so much more difficult to achieve, when the help the children receive is so much less than what they deserve and need as a consequence of much of what the public invest financially, going directly to investors and shareholders instead.

It’s time to end this incredible and unjust practice of allowing profit to be made from the misfortune of vulnerable children worldwide. There are many countries that do not allow this, which must demonstrate to us all that there can be no moral and ethical reason why others do. To end this practice is a perfectly reasonable goal and easily achievable. All this requires is for Governments to make a decision to implement simple legislation that disallows profit in this area and ultimately give protection from an increasing trend that seems to benefit everyone involved but the children. In changing the laws we can turn things around and take the power over these children out of the wrong hands and place an important function of our society back in the right hands for the benefit of all.