Someone to watch over me

    Someone to Watch over me

    BBC1

    Episode four (of six) 7 December

    10.35pm

    Star Rating: 3/5

    This was a powerful episode that did well to reflect the
    everyday dilemmas and risks faced by child protection social
    workers. The familiar scenarios were a salutary reminder of what
    social workers encounter daily, We saw a mum with a history of
    depression, alcohol abuse and a violent relationship, who had seen
    three children previously removed from her. Could she fare better
    this time?

    The programme challenged stereotypes and showed how hard staff
    worked to enable the family to take care of their son.

    It was useful that references were made to the team, social
    services, the courts and, indeed, the assistant director getting
    involved in a case, balancing previous impressions that the social
    workers work and make decisions in isolation.

    Ami’s career in social work ended when a client assaulted
    her. She was devastated and was initially determined not to let it
    stop her from doing the job she loved. Despite this and trying
    again, she left the profession just six weeks after returning from
    sick leave.

    Although courageous to put themselves before the cameras, there
    clearly could be arguments as to how the camera’s presence
    may have affected the social workers’ behaviour, but the
    snapshots were pretty real and very, very familiar.

    Maureen Floyd is team manager, family support and care
    planning, London Borough of Sutton.

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