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Thread: Being British XIV

  1. #81
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    The (Muggle) UK Child Care system is run by local councils. The relevant department used to be Social Services, but fashions change and these days they are usually called Children and Young Peoples Services. The short answer is no, it would not
    Quote Originally Posted by Padfoot11333 View Post
    be possible for wizard A to rush into an orphanage [because wizards are just awesome like that] and hand over the baby?
    First there are no “Orphanages” as such, there are childrens homes (You could do worse than check out Tracey Beaker – by Jacqueline Wilson) but they usually deal with older kids. If a baby was abandoned then the police would get involved and try to track down the mother. The Social Services would also get involved, as there would be concern for the mother’s physical (and mental) wellbeing.

    Abandoning a baby? Leave it outside a hospital, preferably one with a maternity unit, and leave it somewhere where it will be found. After that the NHS system will take over, and the baby will make the local news. The child will be found a foster home, but the lack of paperwork (no parents to give consent) will, I think, slow down the adoption process. I’m no expert.

    Goldensnidget covers education in detail, except:
    The system is local and every council can do things slightly differently. In the council areas immediately to the south of me many (not all) Primary schools are split into two schools
    Infant School (up to Year 2)
    Junior School (Years 3-6)
    In other places (like where I live) they ignore Primary/Secondary use a First/Middle/High school system
    First School (up to Year 4)
    Middle School (Years 5-8)
    High School (Years 9-13)
    These alternatives are quite common in rural parts of the country, as they keep the younger kids in smaller schools closer to home.
    Also:
    To the north of me lies Scotland.
    None of the above applies to Scotland (I’m sure a Scot will correct me if I’m wrong). As I live on the border, my understanding is this.
    The age on starting school is different, the naming system is different (most “secondary” schools are “high” schools), and the exams are different.
    The exams are Standard Grade, Intermediate Grade, Advanced Grade and Higher Advanced Grade (I think).
    I suspect that all I’ve done is confuse you, but it’s as well to remember that a lot of answers in “Being British” should carry the warning: “Applies to England and Wales, Scotland may be different (and Wales may be different, too).”

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  2. #82
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    I know some things about the adoption process; my boyfriend's parents foster for a living. Basically, it takes a long, long time for a child to even be put up for adoption in most cases. I think there's a statistic out that last year, only sixty or so children under the age of one were adopted. The process takes a lot of time because the system is so complicated and there is such an emphasis within the social system on keeping families together. It's starting to change, or ministers are wanting it to change because this idea of families together ends up with cases like Baby P whose parents ended up killing him and also very damaged children who have been known to social services for most of their lives.

    I don't know much about adoption from the prospective parent side of things, but I understand they have to undergo lots of interviews and assessments of themselves and their homes. It is very easy to fail, and I think the government wants to change this.

    We don't have oprphanages as such any more. We have foster homes but they are a last resort for children who have been problematic with many of their foster parents. Children are mainly fostered now, that is to say placed with a family who are registered with a fostering company (they also have to have a lot of interviews and assessments). If you wanted to give your child up for adoption, you'd be put in contact with social services who would place the child or baby with a foster parent. These situations are fairly straight forward because the parents have waived their claim on the child, if you like. Forced fostering is more complicated because the child has been forcibly taken from the parents, whether it's due to drugs or alcohol problems, neglect or abuse of some sort. Most often, the parents here want their children back, but they will have to be assessed for suitability by social services before they are allowed to have their child live with them again. They may still be able to see the child in what is known as 'contact' for so many hours a day or week, or even month, and often this will be supervised by a social worker. A child will have it's own social worker who arranges the contact, carries out the assessments and liaises with the natural parents and the foster parents. This is where it takes so long for a child to be put up for adoption. If the mother fails her assessment, she or another member of the family can challenge it so it has to be reviewed. If that too fails, another member of the family will be assessed for suitability, a sort of preliminary assessment that looks at the background, financial security, living situations etc of that person. If they pass this, they go on to a bigger assessment, which they may fail. A full assessment usually takes around four to six months. Because of the push to keep families together, any member of the family with any sort of connection can put themselves up for assessment. Only if every willing member of the family fails with the child be put up for adoption. You can see how this would take a very long time.

    None of the children who have been fostered at my boyfriend's place have been adopted since I've known him, and from what I gather, only two placements in they ten or so years they've been doing it have been adopted. Most go on to another foster home, or go back to a family member. What I do know, though, is that the children and adoptive parents will meet several times before adoption actually occurs and the children have to be comfortable and happy with the parents.

    With regards to your question, it depends on the era. We don't have orphanages any more, but Merope was able to do that when they were still around. Granted, she actually had the baby there, but I still think it would be possible to leave the baby on the steps or leave it with the person who opened the door. Nowadays, I think this sort of thing still happens. Babies are found on steps of churches etc, I think we even had a call for a baby who had been found in a department store toilets. Abandoned babies like that are handed over to social services, who place them with a foster family.

    I hope this stuff helps.

    Sarah x


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  3. #83
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    There isn't much to add, as the last two posts have covered adoption really well, however my mum's a lawyer specialising in cases where Social Services remove children from their parents, so I'd like to just say a couple of things

    Like SapphireAtDawn/Sarah mentioned, when a child is removed from their parents, the parents then have very limited access to their children, even when they have done nothing to harm them (children are often removed as a result of their parents being deemed 'unfit', often as a result of the parents having learning difficulties). In these instances, contact with the children usually takes place in a supervised contact centre, where they are supervised at all times. Occasionally parents may be allowed to take their children out into the community, but only under supervision.

    Once a final care order is made, which means the child will be permanently in the care system (whether that be in long-term foster care or adoption), parents see even less of their children, with contact limited to three or four times a year, at most. Some do not get to see their children at all.

    Before removing a child, Social Services have to decide whether the issues can be resolved, allowing the child to remain with the family, or whether the issues aren't able to be resolved and the child needs to be removed. This can be a hard decision to make, and as a result the wrong decision is often made. Particularly after high profile cases such as Baby P, Social Services are often too quick to remove children, even when they are at no risk.

    In terms of education, I'm weird enough to have researched the American equivalents of the British year system!

    9th Grade/Freshman Year = Year 10 (1st year of GCSEs) Hogwarts 4th Year
    10th Grade/Sophomore Year = Year 11 (2nd Year of GCSEs, and final year of compulsory education) Hogwarts 5th Year
    11th Grade/Junior Year = Year 12 (AS Levels) Hogwarts 6th Year
    12th Grade/Senior Year = Year 13 (A Levels) Hogwarts 7th Year

    I hope that makes sense!

    Fenella x


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  4. #84
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    In the US, we have the concept of "pick up games" which are casual games of whatever sport (often basketball or soccer since they can be scaled down) played among family and friends or even strangers at a park. These are more relaxed than an actual competition like Hogwarts' House games, much less professional matches.

    I'm wondering what a British person might call such a game of Quidditch. Something like the Weasleys play together... would it be a pick up game? A friendly? ... something else I haven't heard of?

    Thanks!
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  5. #85
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    Aida, I think it would definitely be called a friendly here. I saw that term before and just thought what on earth is a pick up game because I'd never heard of it.
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  6. #86
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    A friendly could work, but when I think of a friendly, I think of an organised match which isn't part of a competition, rather than a group of friends messing about in the park. A friendly is less casual than what I think you mean, but it isn't a real game either. The only better term I can think of is a kick-about, but that's specifically for football. Also, you can play five-a-side football, so maybe you could talk about insertnumberhere-a-side Quidditch. Mind you, I'm not the type to be playing sports by choice, so I'm not the best person to advise you on this

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  7. #87
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    What kind of slang would teenagers use everyday? I'm writing a Next-Gen story and Louis is refering to a, as us Americans call it, "hot chick". I'm not quite sure how to phrase it.
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  8. #88
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    Thanks Sophie and BP,

    I think friendly would work, but I had gotten the impression that friendlies are something that organized teams play against each other that doesn't count for league play... an exhibition game, like US vs Real Madrid (which happened a few months ago, I think).

    Lost_Robin: One word that British people use in lieu of hot is 'fit.' Another thing to consider is what year it is in the story you're writing. Slang marches on. You could make up something or compare a girl favorably to an actress or singer (who doesn't exist yet).
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  9. #89
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    What kind of slang would teenagers use everyday? I'm writing a Next-Gen story and Louis is refering to a, as us Americans call it, "hot chick". I'm not quite sure how to phrase it.
    As Aida said, it really does depend on the specific time. A couple of years ago it would be "fittie": for example "That girl's a right fittie".

    You could use "fit" as a substitute for "hot", but I wouldn't use "chick". Instead you could use "bint", "bird", or if you want to be really up-to-date, then you could use "slit", which one of my guy friends tells me is becoming pretty popular. But that one's a bit more derogatory than the others.

    Hope that helps!



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  10. #90
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    Another term in current usage is "peng", but in my area I've only heard it used ironically. It's seen as quite a trashy thing to say, but people use it for a laugh. An example of its usage would be something along the lines of "Check her out! She's well peng." It felt quite weird to type that... Mind you, it's quite a faddy word, so if you are writing something set a few years in the future, it probably wouldn't still be around.

    "Fit" is probably your best option, but as goldensnidget said "hot" minus the "chick" would do. Try going to the urban dictionary and having a wander. It can give you synonyms if you don't like any of our suggestions. Be warned though; the content is user generated, so some of the language is pretty, um, ripe.

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