Black children wait the longest to be adopted and are the least likely among the children in care to be adopted. This was the brutal finding disclosed at a 10 Downing Street Round Table this week and it was accompanied by real life stories that confirmed the statistics.
For example, singer and BBC journalist Ashley John Baptiste told how he was taken into care at a young age but after thinking he was happily settled with his foster carer, was forced to leave.
From the age of eight, he spent many difficult years in care, without being adopted. In a poignant moment, he said that those years were marked by his sense that no one was looking out for his future, and no one believed in him.
The discussion continued as people from different backgrounds expressed their sense of outrage at the discrepancy between white and black children getting adopted. Moving speeches were presented by adopters and from people who grew up in care and missed the chance to be adopted.
The meeting was organised by Home for Good's advocacy team in conjunction with the Racial Disparity Unity, the Department for Education and Number 10's Equalities Unit.
Hosting the event was Sam Kasumu, a brilliant civil servant with a passion for justice, razor sharp wit and tenacious pursuit of truth. And reflecting the wideranging reach of this issue, those in attendance were influencers from a broad range of sectors, from the church and business, to the media, the arts, the music industry and the Government.
Kayla King, CEO of the prestigious MOBO award, Margaret Casely-Hayfod of the Globe Theatre, Chine MacDonald, Christian Aid's head of communication, pastor Tope Koleoso from Jubilee Church, Liverpool pastor Dr Tani Omideyi and others all added their stories and voices to this critical subject.
What we were all agreed on is that together we can kickstart some transformative work to change the statistics and stories around the adoption of black boys in the UK.
As I looked around the room in 10 Downing Street I was excited about the possibility of partnering with the Government on a common ambition – making sure the most vulnerable children in our nation are loved and cared for in families.
The Government is the corporate parent of every child in need and we as the Christian church have a calling from God to care for those same children. This is one way we can partner together for the good of the nation.
There is great opportunity for the Church right now when it comes to our national life. In the past, we may have been tempted to retreat from politics or engage angrily through shaming or shunning or shouting at the Government.
But as dual citizens of the Kingdom and the United Kingdom, I believe Christians are called to work in partnership with the Government, especially when it comes to our mercy ministries and social engagement and advocacy.
I believe Christians are called to work in partnership with the Government, especially when it comes to our mercy ministries, social engagement and advocacy.
Right now, that must include ensuring that children of every ethnicity have the home they need. To that end, Home for Good has launched a special video that seeks to change the way that our culture looks at black boys in care. Please watch the video below and share it as you can.
The founding director of Home For Good, Krish is a passionate advocate for fostering and adoption, and he and his wife have 7 children through birth, adoption and fostering. He is a regular contributor to The Times and The Guardian and to Radio 2's Pause for Thought and Radio 4.