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SIR – You are right to call it a “scandal” to deny children homes with adoptive parents (Comment Nov. 6).

Compared with 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 no 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 “care” 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 children. There would not be much point, he told me. Why not I asked? Well, it’s nearly all of them, he replied.

The cost of our failure to get these children into permanent, loving homes is huge.


John Blundell, General Director

IEA. London


Letter printed in The Daily telegraph Thursday November 7th 2002

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