Social skirmishes

● Wikipedia declares that Boxing Day is all about a day once dedicated to giving gifts to staff and poor people (as if there is a difference) but, as it is Wikipedia, we can safely discount that.

We in social care know better. Boxing Day is so named because everyone realises the presents they received were rubbish/broken/the wrong size and start hitting each other. Boxing Day is busiest in the shops for the sales, and for police and Crown Prosecution Service in dealing with domestic violence.

Children, who were seen as the reason Christmas was so special, now become the focus of everyone’s irritation, especially when everyone becomes drunk on New Year’s Eve.

So, it was good to meet my client Tash’s new baby (Angel) born just after Christmas. The conference decided to put Angel on the at-risk register. Cue Tash’s spitting and snarling at me.

But this was less of a shock for me than the one her partner had. Apparently, during labour she shouted at him: “I don’t even know why you are here as you ain’t even the father!”

Baby Brash, Angel’s 11-month older brother, stayed with a lovely foster family during it all and I wondered why he couldn’t just stay there for ever knowing that he and his baby sister would be back and forth for many years.

I resolve not to be so maudlin about it all this year and to think more positively about outcomes for children. But the phone rings at 9.16am on 2 January and that particular resolution is broken.

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