I saw ‘How Mad are You?’ last night. I’m going to reserve judgement until next week. It seemed a bit uncomfortable and I was trying to work out what the point of it was. Was it for entertainment? or to challenge stigma? Anyway, I’ll wait for the next part with some curiosity.
I also can’t fail to mention the case of Child P that has emerged across the press – a 17 month boy who was subject to excessive abuse and was eventually killed within the family home – even though thinking of it does chill me somewhat. This was a child that was well known to child protection services and alerts had been raised regarding his care. He was on the child protection register. He received frequent visits. I am sure there will be lots of explanations about ‘disguised compliance’ In fact, there are already.
The heart of the blame should lie with people who inflict such pain and suffering on others. The professionals need to be given the tools and skills with which to interpret the facts as they are presented. The support from a robust and confident management structure. The effects of a shortage of front-line staff has a cost.
I do find some irony though that the same papers that rant about social workers acting in an overzealous manner in removing children are exactly the same ones that are out to pillory the social workers who don’t act. That isn’t meant to be a defence, by the way. It is just somewhat galling.
I’m sure they’ll be more to look at here over the next few days, weeks and years where perhaps it is easier to look at the facts of the case and more importantly what can be done to inform and guide future practice.
I’m not saying it won’t happen again. People who have so much desire to kill, hurt and wound can often find ways round systems. The blame should not be shifted away from the perpetrators though.