I guess I should explain the title of this blog. Every Child Matters is the name of the UK Government's initiative "to improve outcomes for all children and young people." It is much criticised and I will probably blog on the subject another time when I have a chance, though it's an enormous subject.
Suffice it to say that, in the opinion of many, what the Government is doing as a matter of its overall policy, and its attitude to children, parents and families, is the very antithesis of the idea that every child matters. I hope this blog will show what it really means to believe that children matter; the thought, care, research, empathy and understanding that is required in order to raise children at this point in the early 21st Century. My attitude is that every child really does matter, and that in the vast majority of cases the people to whom they matter most, and who is in the best position to help them is their parents and family, and other people that live with them every day and love them the most.
Throughout this blog I will be referring to parents and family. By these terms I will also mean adoptive or step-parents and families. The natural bond between genetic parents and children - and between siblings, their grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. for that matter - should not be underestimated. There are biological imperatives at work in such relationships that have great influence over a child's development, the parents' attitudes toward that child, and so on. However, that is a matter to be dealt with separately. In the huge majority of areas, the important thing is the existence of a loving, supportive parental model, whether or not the actual genetic parent.