Quick blog before bedtime …

Just watching a programme called Someone to Watch Over Me, which is about social workers in Bristol, which features a 14-year-old girl called Nadia, who was out of control at home, put in care and then drifted off into drugs and inappropriate relationships, and was eventually put into a secure unit. The girl was devastated to be kept in the unit (for three months in the end, the latter two much nearer home than the first month), but the programme does not discuss the matter of how she got into that situation in the first place. Where’s her father, for one thing, and why are they not arranging for her and her mother to move somewhere away from the problems of drugs and prostitution and so on? Obviously it seems that in this case the mother couldn’t cope with her, but do they make any provision for keeping together families?

Because even though it may cost money, the costs in the long term of splitting up families may well be greater. I remember the story of a family in Northern Ireland where the mother was killed by the IRA, and the children ended up being split up into various foster homes, where many were themselves abused. They had grandparents, but their home was not big enough, and I remember thinking - why weren’t they sorted with a decent-size home?

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