Need for more foster carers and adoptive parents from ethnic backgrounds says leader of Harrow Borough Council

Harrow Times: Cllr Susan Hall has joined calls for more foster parents from ethnic backgrounds Cllr Susan Hall has joined calls for more foster parents from ethnic backgrounds

The leader of the council says there is a growing need for foster and adoptive parents from different ethnic backgrounds to come forward.

The comments come after independent councillor Husain Akhtar said Harrow Borough Council was not doing enough to engage with ethnic minorities to encourage them to foster or adopt.

Concerns were raised after protests from the Somali community against the adoption of a child by a lesbian couple.

The adoption has since been put on hold, but council leader Cllr Susan Hall says there is clearly a need for potential foster and adoptive parents from different ethnic backgrounds to come forward as recruits.

She said: “The most important thing is that the child goes to a loving and supportive home and to people we believe, on the basis of thorough assessment, are best suited to look after them.”

Comments (15)

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11:09am Wed 5 Feb 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

A very welcome move!There definitely is a need for this in our hugely diverse borough.Harrow Council will need to publicise and raise awareness of this as much as possible,pulling out all the stops.I am sure they will make full use of the "Harrow People " and may be even have posters in all our libraries to spread this important message.

Of course,the help and support from so many community groups already existing locally as well as help from FAITH leaders/groups,statu
tory organisations and other avenues would make this a much easier and more effective campaign.It is the job of everybody,not just Harrow Council to make this a reality.

After the recent outrage over the adoption of a Somali child we simply must pull together and firmly demonstrate that we genuinely are a compassionate,caring society and leave no stone unturned to achieve truly enhanced adoption options for our children.That is such a noble and laudable goal!

Our local community publications in various different languages and many free opportunities to engage on the Radio,satellite stations and even using social media ,should be explored and engaged with wherever possible.After all,this is about the quality of life of a young vulnerable child.Let us stop the endless carping and caviling.and instead pour all our energies into finding best outcomes for Harrow's children.

Many ethnic groups may be resistant to adoption often holding on to old -fashioned .out-dated ideas.It is a process of EDUCATION as well.This will take time and effort and the voluntary sector can make a huge contribution here.

I hope our local newspapers will feel moved enough to help highlight this campaign and make Harrow's adoption procedures much more favourable to not only the child but to its adoptive parents as well as the community they belong to.

This will go a long way to ensuring the "fit"is much more comfortable and acceptable.In turn,this will generate opportunitinies for the child to grow in an atmosphere which nourishes it physically,spiritual
ly,culturally and in a host of other ways which will benefit everybody enormously,in the long run,most of all the adopted child.The solutions found have to be sustainable ,community-owned and community-driven fully supported by and carefully monitored by the Council.

I urge ALL Harrovians,young and old ,to please share your ideas and thoughts generously with Harrow Council and help them to get our adoption procedures to a place which others wish to emulate.

Harrovians are known to pilot some really good campaigns/initiative
s.Let's make sure this is one of them.Good luck.
A very welcome move!There definitely is a need for this in our hugely diverse borough.Harrow Council will need to publicise and raise awareness of this as much as possible,pulling out all the stops.I am sure they will make full use of the "Harrow People " and may be even have posters in all our libraries to spread this important message. Of course,the help and support from so many community groups already existing locally as well as help from FAITH leaders/groups,statu tory organisations and other avenues would make this a much easier and more effective campaign.It is the job of everybody,not just Harrow Council to make this a reality. After the recent outrage over the adoption of a Somali child we simply must pull together and firmly demonstrate that we genuinely are a compassionate,caring society and leave no stone unturned to achieve truly enhanced adoption options for our children.That is such a noble and laudable goal! Our local community publications in various different languages and many free opportunities to engage on the Radio,satellite stations and even using social media ,should be explored and engaged with wherever possible.After all,this is about the quality of life of a young vulnerable child.Let us stop the endless carping and caviling.and instead pour all our energies into finding best outcomes for Harrow's children. Many ethnic groups may be resistant to adoption often holding on to old -fashioned .out-dated ideas.It is a process of EDUCATION as well.This will take time and effort and the voluntary sector can make a huge contribution here. I hope our local newspapers will feel moved enough to help highlight this campaign and make Harrow's adoption procedures much more favourable to not only the child but to its adoptive parents as well as the community they belong to. This will go a long way to ensuring the "fit"is much more comfortable and acceptable.In turn,this will generate opportunitinies for the child to grow in an atmosphere which nourishes it physically,spiritual ly,culturally and in a host of other ways which will benefit everybody enormously,in the long run,most of all the adopted child.The solutions found have to be sustainable ,community-owned and community-driven fully supported by and carefully monitored by the Council. I urge ALL Harrovians,young and old ,to please share your ideas and thoughts generously with Harrow Council and help them to get our adoption procedures to a place which others wish to emulate. Harrovians are known to pilot some really good campaigns/initiative s.Let's make sure this is one of them.Good luck. Sonoo Malkani

11:09am Wed 5 Feb 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

A very welcome move!There definitely is a need for this in our hugely diverse borough.Harrow Council will need to publicise and raise awareness of this as much as possible,pulling out all the stops.I am sure they will make full use of the "Harrow People " and may be even have posters in all our libraries to spread this important message.

Of course,the help and support from so many community groups already existing locally as well as help from FAITH leaders/groups,statu
tory organisations and other avenues would make this a much easier and more effective campaign.It is the job of everybody,not just Harrow Council to make this a reality.

After the recent outrage over the adoption of a Somali child we simply must pull together and firmly demonstrate that we genuinely are a compassionate,caring society and leave no stone unturned to achieve truly enhanced adoption options for our children.That is such a noble and laudable goal!

Our local community publications in various different languages and many free opportunities to engage on the Radio,satellite stations and even using social media ,should be explored and engaged with wherever possible.After all,this is about the quality of life of a young vulnerable child.Let us stop the endless carping and caviling.and instead pour all our energies into finding best outcomes for Harrow's children.

Many ethnic groups may be resistant to adoption often holding on to old -fashioned .out-dated ideas.It is a process of EDUCATION as well.This will take time and effort and the voluntary sector can make a huge contribution here.

I hope our local newspapers will feel moved enough to help highlight this campaign and make Harrow's adoption procedures much more favourable to not only the child but to its adoptive parents as well as the community they belong to.

This will go a long way to ensuring the "fit"is much more comfortable and acceptable.In turn,this will generate opportunitinies for the child to grow in an atmosphere which nourishes it physically,spiritual
ly,culturally and in a host of other ways which will benefit everybody enormously,in the long run,most of all the adopted child.The solutions found have to be sustainable ,community-owned and community-driven fully supported by and carefully monitored by the Council.

I urge ALL Harrovians,young and old ,to please share your ideas and thoughts generously with Harrow Council and help them to get our adoption procedures to a place which others wish to emulate.

Harrovians are known to pilot some really good campaigns/initiative
s.Let's make sure this is one of them.Good luck.
A very welcome move!There definitely is a need for this in our hugely diverse borough.Harrow Council will need to publicise and raise awareness of this as much as possible,pulling out all the stops.I am sure they will make full use of the "Harrow People " and may be even have posters in all our libraries to spread this important message. Of course,the help and support from so many community groups already existing locally as well as help from FAITH leaders/groups,statu tory organisations and other avenues would make this a much easier and more effective campaign.It is the job of everybody,not just Harrow Council to make this a reality. After the recent outrage over the adoption of a Somali child we simply must pull together and firmly demonstrate that we genuinely are a compassionate,caring society and leave no stone unturned to achieve truly enhanced adoption options for our children.That is such a noble and laudable goal! Our local community publications in various different languages and many free opportunities to engage on the Radio,satellite stations and even using social media ,should be explored and engaged with wherever possible.After all,this is about the quality of life of a young vulnerable child.Let us stop the endless carping and caviling.and instead pour all our energies into finding best outcomes for Harrow's children. Many ethnic groups may be resistant to adoption often holding on to old -fashioned .out-dated ideas.It is a process of EDUCATION as well.This will take time and effort and the voluntary sector can make a huge contribution here. I hope our local newspapers will feel moved enough to help highlight this campaign and make Harrow's adoption procedures much more favourable to not only the child but to its adoptive parents as well as the community they belong to. This will go a long way to ensuring the "fit"is much more comfortable and acceptable.In turn,this will generate opportunitinies for the child to grow in an atmosphere which nourishes it physically,spiritual ly,culturally and in a host of other ways which will benefit everybody enormously,in the long run,most of all the adopted child.The solutions found have to be sustainable ,community-owned and community-driven fully supported by and carefully monitored by the Council. I urge ALL Harrovians,young and old ,to please share your ideas and thoughts generously with Harrow Council and help them to get our adoption procedures to a place which others wish to emulate. Harrovians are known to pilot some really good campaigns/initiative s.Let's make sure this is one of them.Good luck. Sonoo Malkani

9:09am Thu 6 Feb 14

ipsofacto says...

Everybody comes from an ethnic background. And in Harrow there is no ethnic majority anymore. We are all ethnic minorities in this borough (Source: 2011 Census). So I agree with Susan Hall that we need potential foster-parents and adoption parents from diverse ethnic backgrounds - Including white residents of Harrow.

Susan Hall - we all knew this already. This is simply a smokescreen to cover for politicians who have caved in to a nasty homophobic ethnic minority in Harrow. Gays and Lesbians are human beings too. Please treat them as such.

Miss Hall - *you* are the Leader of the Council. I challenge *you* to put an end to this disgraceful episode in our Borough's history. Instruct your Head of Childrens Services to go ahead immediately with the adoption of the Somali girl to a lesbian couple.
Everybody comes from an ethnic background. And in Harrow there is no ethnic majority anymore. We are all ethnic minorities in this borough (Source: 2011 Census). So I agree with Susan Hall that we need potential foster-parents and adoption parents from diverse ethnic backgrounds - Including white residents of Harrow. Susan Hall - we all knew this already. This is simply a smokescreen to cover for politicians who have caved in to a nasty homophobic ethnic minority in Harrow. Gays and Lesbians are human beings too. Please treat them as such. Miss Hall - *you* are the Leader of the Council. I challenge *you* to put an end to this disgraceful episode in our Borough's history. Instruct your Head of Childrens Services to go ahead immediately with the adoption of the Somali girl to a lesbian couple. ipsofacto

11:04am Thu 6 Feb 14

DJFearRoss says...

So Harrow council is encouraging segregation. "Stick to your own", seems to be the message here.
So Harrow council is encouraging segregation. "Stick to your own", seems to be the message here. DJFearRoss

1:01pm Thu 6 Feb 14

jackdaw says...

George Orwell’s "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" comment in his book Animal Farm would be appropriate.

More foster parents/adopted parents from all communities would solve the problem. However, that is not going to happen overnight as education and training and assessment would have to be put in place.
Meanwhile this young girl will be left in a legal limbo as the protests and appeals go on and her childhood will be blighted as she is shunted around the care system. Every day that passes means she will not have the advantages and security that a stable home could bestow on her. She is now three years old and needs to be placed in a loving home. The one the Council and the social workers had decided upon is now being challenged and this means further delays.
George Orwell’s "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others" comment in his book Animal Farm would be appropriate. More foster parents/adopted parents from all communities would solve the problem. However, that is not going to happen overnight as education and training and assessment would have to be put in place. Meanwhile this young girl will be left in a legal limbo as the protests and appeals go on and her childhood will be blighted as she is shunted around the care system. Every day that passes means she will not have the advantages and security that a stable home could bestow on her. She is now three years old and needs to be placed in a loving home. The one the Council and the social workers had decided upon is now being challenged and this means further delays. jackdaw

1:50pm Thu 6 Feb 14

DJFearRoss says...

@Sonoo
It is the precise attitudes such as YOUR that have STOPPED the adoption!
So please do not say your thoughts and prayers are with the child.

The child was about to be adopted, which WAS the priority. Now as you stated, the Somalian community concerns should be addressed, but *not that of the Lesbian couple* (as you stated in a previous post).
@Sonoo It is the precise attitudes such as YOUR that have STOPPED the adoption! So please do not say your thoughts and prayers are with the child. The child was about to be adopted, which WAS the priority. Now as you stated, the Somalian community concerns should be addressed, but *not that of the Lesbian couple* (as you stated in a previous post). DJFearRoss

3:58pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

Sorry DJ FearRoss.Stop picking on me and speaking in this manner.Whether one is from the Somali or any other community,one cannot disregard people's feelings and only support the ones YOU may wish to.

I have nothing against the LGBT community and have worked with them for several years so please stop misleading people and misrepresenting me.
I still feel the number one person to consider is the little child who seems to have been forgotten!
I shall pray for you too as well as the little one so that you think calmly and stop hurling baseless accusations at others.Please just stop it!
Sorry DJ FearRoss.Stop picking on me and speaking in this manner.Whether one is from the Somali or any other community,one cannot disregard people's feelings and only support the ones YOU may wish to. I have nothing against the LGBT community and have worked with them for several years so please stop misleading people and misrepresenting me. I still feel the number one person to consider is the little child who seems to have been forgotten! I shall pray for you too as well as the little one so that you think calmly and stop hurling baseless accusations at others.Please just stop it! Sonoo Malkani

4:11pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ipsofacto says...

@Sonoo Malkani

In this and and another thread on this issue you have said just about everything including the fact that you say the needs of the child must come first. I agree with you. Why do you need to say that? Do you think that Harrow's social workers take a different view to you and have put the needs of someone else first?

Please tell me: 1) Do you believe, in principle, that lesbians are not suited to adopting/fostering young children? 2) Do you agree with the current suspension of the adoption process or do you think that the sooner the adoption takes place, the better?
@Sonoo Malkani In this and and another thread on this issue you have said just about everything including the fact that you say the needs of the child must come first. I agree with you. Why do you need to say that? Do you think that Harrow's social workers take a different view to you and have put the needs of someone else first? Please tell me: 1) Do you believe, in principle, that lesbians are not suited to adopting/fostering young children? 2) Do you agree with the current suspension of the adoption process or do you think that the sooner the adoption takes place, the better? ipsofacto

4:25pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

Ipsofacto ,I find the current suspension of the adoption extremely sad,distressing and very painful ---since this is a little one probably desperately needing a loving home.

Also,I am neither for or against adoption/fostering by lesbians/gays.Who am I to judge another human being in this way?"Judge not,lest ye be judged".
All social workers have training and experience but might find guidance most helpful in reaching decisions which have life-long implications. We should ALL be open-minded and ready to learn.That's how we make progress and fine-tune our abilities.Nobody is the Oracle,least of all myself.

I am acutely aware that I am neither qualified,nor in a position to judge personally about extremely sensitive issues such as this one.All said and done,God willing this liitle girl find loving parents soon.
Ipsofacto ,I find the current suspension of the adoption extremely sad,distressing and very painful ---since this is a little one probably desperately needing a loving home. Also,I am neither for or against adoption/fostering by lesbians/gays.Who am I to judge another human being in this way?"Judge not,lest ye be judged". All social workers have training and experience but might find guidance most helpful in reaching decisions which have life-long implications. We should ALL be open-minded and ready to learn.That's how we make progress and fine-tune our abilities.Nobody is the Oracle,least of all myself. I am acutely aware that I am neither qualified,nor in a position to judge personally about extremely sensitive issues such as this one.All said and done,God willing this liitle girl find loving parents soon. Sonoo Malkani

5:41pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ipsofacto says...

@Sonoo Malkani

"I am acutely aware that I am neither qualified,nor in a position to judge personally about extremely sensitive issues such as this one"

Of course you are qualified. You are a human being and active in the local community. You do not need qualifications to express views about sexuality. Homosexuality and adoption and not sensitive issues. The matter is clear. Some homophobic Somali women do not wish that a child should be adopted by a lesbian couple. They are wrong. Lesbians can raise children just as well as any other member of society. Do you or do you not support these homophobic women? Do you think that the adoption of the child by a lesbian family should go ahead or not? These are not difficult questions. You cannot have it both ways. You challenge homophobia or you stand shoulder to shoulder with the bigots. What do you want to do?
@Sonoo Malkani "I am acutely aware that I am neither qualified,nor in a position to judge personally about extremely sensitive issues such as this one" Of course you are qualified. You are a human being and active in the local community. You do not need qualifications to express views about sexuality. Homosexuality and adoption and not sensitive issues. The matter is clear. Some homophobic Somali women do not wish that a child should be adopted by a lesbian couple. They are wrong. Lesbians can raise children just as well as any other member of society. Do you or do you not support these homophobic women? Do you think that the adoption of the child by a lesbian family should go ahead or not? These are not difficult questions. You cannot have it both ways. You challenge homophobia or you stand shoulder to shoulder with the bigots. What do you want to do? ipsofacto

2:06pm Sat 8 Feb 14

Methodman says...

Ethnic minorities need to be encouraged to participate in the wider society on a number of levels.
How often do we hear of a lack of ethnic minority members of medical databases such as bone marrow etc.
I know from my time spent on parent committees for local schools that ethnic minorities are under represented on them.
The under representation of ethnic minorities on voluntary boards or committees that benefit the wider community gives the impression that certain groups have no interest in integrating into wider society.
Ethnic minorities need to be encouraged to participate in the wider society on a number of levels. How often do we hear of a lack of ethnic minority members of medical databases such as bone marrow etc. I know from my time spent on parent committees for local schools that ethnic minorities are under represented on them. The under representation of ethnic minorities on voluntary boards or committees that benefit the wider community gives the impression that certain groups have no interest in integrating into wider society. Methodman

4:30am Fri 14 Feb 14

DJFearRoss says...

Methodman wrote:
Ethnic minorities need to be encouraged to participate in the wider society on a number of levels.
How often do we hear of a lack of ethnic minority members of medical databases such as bone marrow etc.
I know from my time spent on parent committees for local schools that ethnic minorities are under represented on them.
The under representation of ethnic minorities on voluntary boards or committees that benefit the wider community gives the impression that certain groups have no interest in integrating into wider society.
The term, "ethnic minorities" is too broad. I have a feeling people just use it to refer to brown people. Just like the word, "Asian".

Some groups are kind of integrated, but we will notice it more with their off-spring. Certain groups actually teach their children NOT to be part of our society and that is disturbing, even down to the clothes they wear.
[quote][p][bold]Methodman[/bold] wrote: Ethnic minorities need to be encouraged to participate in the wider society on a number of levels. How often do we hear of a lack of ethnic minority members of medical databases such as bone marrow etc. I know from my time spent on parent committees for local schools that ethnic minorities are under represented on them. The under representation of ethnic minorities on voluntary boards or committees that benefit the wider community gives the impression that certain groups have no interest in integrating into wider society.[/p][/quote]The term, "ethnic minorities" is too broad. I have a feeling people just use it to refer to brown people. Just like the word, "Asian". Some groups are kind of integrated, but we will notice it more with their off-spring. Certain groups actually teach their children NOT to be part of our society and that is disturbing, even down to the clothes they wear. DJFearRoss

8:24am Fri 14 Feb 14

ipsofacto says...

The 2011 census shows that 'White British' residents in Harrow are no longer a majority. In Harrow *every* group and *every* citizen belongs to an ethnic *minority*. The same also applies to London as a whole.

Local politicians and officials should now, when they are talking about matters relevant to Harrow and London, not talk about ethnic minorities because to do so would be irrational. From now on, councillors and officials should refer directly to the specific minority they are talking about. 'The times they are a-changing'.
The 2011 census shows that 'White British' residents in Harrow are no longer a majority. In Harrow *every* group and *every* citizen belongs to an ethnic *minority*. The same also applies to London as a whole. Local politicians and officials should now, when they are talking about matters relevant to Harrow and London, not talk about ethnic minorities because to do so would be irrational. From now on, councillors and officials should refer directly to the specific minority they are talking about. 'The times they are a-changing'. ipsofacto

7:41pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

To start with the last commentIPSOFACTO)I have personally always said ethnic "MINORITIES "is no longer an accurate term,especially in our borough.ITotally outdated.I agree we must make sure more of ALL ethnic groups and background should be encouraged to participate in the affairs which affect a hugely diverse community like ours and of course,all Londoners .
Our politicians need to concentrate their minds and change the way they use terminology and address these issues to reflect the changing times.


I am not keen on describing people by the colour of their skin as this can be offensive.I feel strongly we all must learn to ACCEPT(not TOLERATE) and respect one another and encourage those not participating to come aboard.
IThere is a huge raft of reasons for their reluctance to engage.It isn't that these ethnic groups automatically don't wish to bother with issues affecting the whole community.Sometimes,
it might be related to family pressures --many live in extended families and have multiple duties.Perhaps ,it's a generational thing where volunteering is not always valued and an earning member feels more respected as a "provider."I believe this is definitely changing and that kids born here ,like their counter-part are often at the forefront of things.You might be moaning in a decade that they are over-represented on various committees!

.Striking a balance is not that easy but will come, given time and a great deal of patience and gentle persuasion.We need to encourage,educate and mentor people from all ethnicities.Some feel diffident,that their English is not upto the mark and that somebody might poke fun at them---has been known to happen. Others find cannot follow what is being said because of lack of fluency.It's a self-confidence issue and education is what will help enormously to convert them into active participants.

I know when I arrived here in 1970 I would have been told how foolish I was if I had given a chunk of my time to volunteering when we literally were starting from scratch--like most young couples.I just happen to be rather single-minded and admired what people around me were doing --in the larger community.So,I decided to have ago at volunteering and have never looked back since.I still get told ,admittedly by far fewer,that I am "wasting my time" and could be making big bucks instead--possibly true but its my life and MY CHOICE if I wish to feel part of the larger family to which we all belong.

Yes,sadly there are a few who probably wish to just do their own thing and not participate.We will not win them all but we WILL win the majority of these people over a sustained period of time.If we don't believe this can be achieved w e will not achieve.You will achieve that which you ASPIRE to achieve!

We cannot force people to give up their natural love for their own kind of clothes.I must confess many moons ago a close member of my family forbade me to wear sarees in London.Guess what----I only wore sarees deliberately after that to ascertain nobody could take away my personal freedom to CHOOSE what I wore,ate or how I lived.Best to allow people to feel its fine to wear what they are comfortable with,so long as they look respectable and are not unduly embarassing.I won't elaborate, but most folk know what modesty means.It's just good old-fashioned me!

I am equally comfortable wearing Western clothes as ,my own attire.Of course,Sarees hide excess weight so they are easy to don.Besides,as I get older I find them more comfortable and my friends/colleagues are always admiring them.I just wear what I wish to wear and am more interested in what I am DOING than in how I may look.

Methodman speaks of a very important issue.The Indian community and Pakistanis are very poor at registering on databases such as the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow and many life-saving ones.These things have been considered "taboo"since generations.It is a matter of EDUCATION again as well as spelling out the implications of their actions on their near and dear ones and also other members of the community to which we all belong.Happily,many of our young ones are way ahead when it comes to blood donation,Marrow donation etc and also help raise funds and awareness exactly their counter-part.Plenty of good things are happening on this front.Time takes care of many" problems", in a natural way.

The word "Asian" is most unhelpful.We are all very proud of our countries of origin and like to be called Indian,Pakistani ,Punjabi,Gujarati or whatever.The term "Black" also does not indicate where you come from ---are you Afro-Caribbean or Ghanaian ,Kenyan or whatever.Please take the time and trouble to find out not to segregate or divide people but to get to KNOW about their customs ,cultural differences and all the hings that make them so proud to be THEMSELVES.

I don't find it useful to call somebody "White"--is the person Irish.Polish.Eastern European or what??We need to call people by their correct name and allow them to feel proud of their own identity and only then encourage them to feel ,as I do,very proud to be BRITISH.So,I call myself INDIAN BRITISH and feel incredibly proud and privileged to be one.

I am not against adoption by Lesbians per say but then I am not from the Somali community which has its own set of traditions and culture.hence,I will not comment on the adoption being suspended but my main concern is the DELAY that poor child is experiencing.God willing,Harrow Council will find a suitable home for the little girl soon.
To start with the last commentIPSOFACTO)I have personally always said ethnic "MINORITIES "is no longer an accurate term,especially in our borough.ITotally outdated.I agree we must make sure more of ALL ethnic groups and background should be encouraged to participate in the affairs which affect a hugely diverse community like ours and of course,all Londoners . Our politicians need to concentrate their minds and change the way they use terminology and address these issues to reflect the changing times. I am not keen on describing people by the colour of their skin as this can be offensive.I feel strongly we all must learn to ACCEPT(not TOLERATE) and respect one another and encourage those not participating to come aboard. IThere is a huge raft of reasons for their reluctance to engage.It isn't that these ethnic groups automatically don't wish to bother with issues affecting the whole community.Sometimes, it might be related to family pressures --many live in extended families and have multiple duties.Perhaps ,it's a generational thing where volunteering is not always valued and an earning member feels more respected as a "provider."I believe this is definitely changing and that kids born here ,like their counter-part are often at the forefront of things.You might be moaning in a decade that they are over-represented on various committees! .Striking a balance is not that easy but will come, given time and a great deal of patience and gentle persuasion.We need to encourage,educate and mentor people from all ethnicities.Some feel diffident,that their English is not upto the mark and that somebody might poke fun at them---has been known to happen. Others find cannot follow what is being said because of lack of fluency.It's a self-confidence issue and education is what will help enormously to convert them into active participants. I know when I arrived here in 1970 I would have been told how foolish I was if I had given a chunk of my time to volunteering when we literally were starting from scratch--like most young couples.I just happen to be rather single-minded and admired what people around me were doing --in the larger community.So,I decided to have ago at volunteering and have never looked back since.I still get told ,admittedly by far fewer,that I am "wasting my time" and could be making big bucks instead--possibly true but its my life and MY CHOICE if I wish to feel part of the larger family to which we all belong. Yes,sadly there are a few who probably wish to just do their own thing and not participate.We will not win them all but we WILL win the majority of these people over a sustained period of time.If we don't believe this can be achieved w e will not achieve.You will achieve that which you ASPIRE to achieve! We cannot force people to give up their natural love for their own kind of clothes.I must confess many moons ago a close member of my family forbade me to wear sarees in London.Guess what----I only wore sarees deliberately after that to ascertain nobody could take away my personal freedom to CHOOSE what I wore,ate or how I lived.Best to allow people to feel its fine to wear what they are comfortable with,so long as they look respectable and are not unduly embarassing.I won't elaborate, but most folk know what modesty means.It's just good old-fashioned me! I am equally comfortable wearing Western clothes as ,my own attire.Of course,Sarees hide excess weight so they are easy to don.Besides,as I get older I find them more comfortable and my friends/colleagues are always admiring them.I just wear what I wish to wear and am more interested in what I am DOING than in how I may look. Methodman speaks of a very important issue.The Indian community and Pakistanis are very poor at registering on databases such as the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow and many life-saving ones.These things have been considered "taboo"since generations.It is a matter of EDUCATION again as well as spelling out the implications of their actions on their near and dear ones and also other members of the community to which we all belong.Happily,many of our young ones are way ahead when it comes to blood donation,Marrow donation etc and also help raise funds and awareness exactly their counter-part.Plenty of good things are happening on this front.Time takes care of many" problems", in a natural way. The word "Asian" is most unhelpful.We are all very proud of our countries of origin and like to be called Indian,Pakistani ,Punjabi,Gujarati or whatever.The term "Black" also does not indicate where you come from ---are you Afro-Caribbean or Ghanaian ,Kenyan or whatever.Please take the time and trouble to find out not to segregate or divide people but to get to KNOW about their customs ,cultural differences and all the hings that make them so proud to be THEMSELVES. I don't find it useful to call somebody "White"--is the person Irish.Polish.Eastern European or what??We need to call people by their correct name and allow them to feel proud of their own identity and only then encourage them to feel ,as I do,very proud to be BRITISH.So,I call myself INDIAN BRITISH and feel incredibly proud and privileged to be one. I am not against adoption by Lesbians per say but then I am not from the Somali community which has its own set of traditions and culture.hence,I will not comment on the adoption being suspended but my main concern is the DELAY that poor child is experiencing.God willing,Harrow Council will find a suitable home for the little girl soon. Sonoo Malkani

11:36am Sat 15 Feb 14

jackdaw says...

Sonoo Malkani makes a good point when she asks for more donorw to come forward.. In Harrow we have people from all over the world and of many different religions. The chances of finding a match for bone marrow, organ donation and blood transfusion must now be more difficult.
Whatever your origin or religion a gift of this kind must outweigh narrow, religious beliefs. The donation could save a life or restore a person to health. The best way of changing views would be for someone who has received such a donation to be interviewed so it could be seen what a difference it has made. As they say a picture paints a thousand words.

I wish more people like Nuszka, whom I quote below, could be given a chance to talk to the adoption panel because they have ACTUALl experience of what is like to be adopted.

“nuszka says...
I’m an adopted Somali. had I been adopted according to Islamic thinking on the subject I would never have been accepted into the family I was adopted by in the way I was by my loving and caring adoptive family. In some of the more fundamental Islamic families I would have been expected to cover up in front of my adoptive brothers and father. How is that good?
I am prepared to put money on the fact that most of the people who are objecting to this adoption are not the sharpest tools in the box and most likely do not have a sophisticated grasp of the religious values they are holding up the adoption of this child for. The parent has given the child over for adoption because there are no members of the family who will provide her with a loving and secure home. that's why the adoption process has been started.”

All the protest has achieved so far is that the little girl has been left in limbo while people argue about her. She has been denied a secure and stable home and every day that passes she has lost a chance for improving her situation. It is not like rewinding a video or DVD those days are now lost to her for ever.
Sonoo Malkani makes a good point when she asks for more donorw to come forward.. In Harrow we have people from all over the world and of many different religions. The chances of finding a match for bone marrow, organ donation and blood transfusion must now be more difficult. Whatever your origin or religion a gift of this kind must outweigh narrow, religious beliefs. The donation could save a life or restore a person to health. The best way of changing views would be for someone who has received such a donation to be interviewed so it could be seen what a difference it has made. As they say a picture paints a thousand words. I wish more people like Nuszka, whom I quote below, could be given a chance to talk to the adoption panel because they have ACTUALl experience of what is like to be adopted. “nuszka says... I’m an adopted Somali. had I been adopted according to Islamic thinking on the subject I would never have been accepted into the family I was adopted by in the way I was by my loving and caring adoptive family. In some of the more fundamental Islamic families I would have been expected to cover up in front of my adoptive brothers and father. How is that good? I am prepared to put money on the fact that most of the people who are objecting to this adoption are not the sharpest tools in the box and most likely do not have a sophisticated grasp of the religious values they are holding up the adoption of this child for. The parent has given the child over for adoption because there are no members of the family who will provide her with a loving and secure home. that's why the adoption process has been started.” All the protest has achieved so far is that the little girl has been left in limbo while people argue about her. She has been denied a secure and stable home and every day that passes she has lost a chance for improving her situation. It is not like rewinding a video or DVD those days are now lost to her for ever. jackdaw

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