Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Now this is getting silly

While nearly everyone agrees with the Government that adoptions should take place as quickly as possible, I think most sensible people will be appalled by the silly adoption ‘score card’ scheme that the Department for Education is introducing in England.

This scheme has got as much sophistication as a blow from a blunt instrument. And the silly and crude performance indicators risk creating all kinds of unintended consequences. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I wrote in this blog about the findings of Peter Blau in 1966. It must have been pre-cognition!

Blau found that performance measures often result in employees improving their performance on an indicator, while the desired organisational performance actually declines.

The real danger here is that, when pressurised to speed up the adoption process, local managers will be disinclined to take risks with cases which may prove problematic and time consuming. So some children who might have otherwise been put forward for adoption will languish in care. That cannot be right.