Kiri: Drama with social worker caught in midst of child abduction to air on Channel 4

Channel 4 drama Kiri airs on 10 January and follows social worker caught up in abduction of a soon-to-be adopted child after an unsupervised visit

Sarah Lancashire plays social worker Miriam in Channel 4 drama Kiri. Picture: Channel 4

A new drama about transracial adoption and the aftermath of child abduction during an unsupervised visit organised by a social worker will air on Channel 4 next week.

Kiri follows the story of a young girl, Kiri, who is soon-to-be adopted by her foster family, and goes on an unsupervised visit to her biological grandparents arranged by social worker Miriam Grayson. When Kiri goes missing during the visit, the social worker is put under the spotlight of accusation and blame.

Sarah Lancashire plays Miriam in the four-part drama which will begin on Channel 4 on 10 January.

The drama unfolds through three viewpoints: Miriam, Tobi, Kiri’s biological grandfather and Alice, Kiri’s foster parent.


Jack Thorne, writer of Kiri, said in an interview with Channel 4 that as part of the research process there was regular contact with a social worker and a police advisor. “The social worker not only talked through the facts, and how Miriam’s life would be, but also talked through the philosophy behind the profession, and helped us find the philosophical position for the show,” he said.

Thorne, who was the writer of the drama National Treasures which explored historic sexual abuse by a famous comedian, said the subject matter of social work was particularly of interest due to his mother, who had working in the caring profession with adults with learning difficulties.

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12 Responses to Kiri: Drama with social worker caught in midst of child abduction to air on Channel 4

  1. MeMe January 5, 2018 at 2:11 pm #

    It would of been very salient to have it unfold from the position of Kiri, and with consultation with a person who had been proposed for adoption but had been ‘abducted’ by a birth relative.

    • Claudette January 10, 2018 at 1:55 pm #

      would HAVE been…..

  2. julia January 5, 2018 at 5:59 pm #

    How likely, or fair is it that birth mother would be in a situation where there was unsupervised contact with the child prior to an adoption?

  3. julia January 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm #

    How likely, or fair is it that birth mother would be in a situation where there was unsupervised contact with the child prior to an adoption?

  4. Sarah Cresswell January 7, 2018 at 7:18 pm #

    Unsupervised contact? I don’t think so. I like Sarah Lancashire but really why don’t the writers research basic procedures properly?

  5. Pam Smith January 8, 2018 at 7:36 am #

    I do hope that the Advisory Social Worker, fully recognises the nature of Social Work, so many times Social Workers are depicted in television dramas “as airy fairy hippies” with their heads on another planet!!!

  6. Sarah January 9, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

    Basic social work practice dictates that unsupervised contact with the birth family would never happen if a child were about to be adopted. I’ll watch the drama and hope the writer’s research pays off in other ways, but unfortunately the entire script is based on a completely unbelievable premise. It would be nice to one day see a drama about social work which doesn’t portray us to be incompetent.

  7. Jakwelli January 10, 2018 at 1:35 pm #

    Social Workers sometimes make mistakes, but my foot, unsupervised contact for a soon-to-be adopted child! That’s playground stuff and wouldn’t happen. Thanks God it’s just drama but at least make it as close to reality as possible. I think I’ll be watching Pointless.

  8. TC January 11, 2018 at 8:27 am #

    I found the programme completely realistic. Use of ‘stock phrases’ when dealing with ‘service users’, telling other workers ‘not my problem, push it up the chain.’ When dealing with other ‘professionals’ using buzz words like ‘resilience’ and ‘chaotic lifestyle’. Manager not acknowledging that she signed off paperwork.
    Yes this is going to not assist in the perception of social workers and indeed confirm the views of individuals and particular news outlets. Perhaps the best way to counter act this is to acknowledge there are a lot of ‘Miriam’s’ in front line staff and they either don’t have the correct skill base or have their own issues (looked like Miriam needed an Adult Social Worker herself!) and should be removed.

    • EB January 12, 2018 at 9:02 pm #

      I’m a retired sw, with a daughter and daughter in law who are both social workers of many years experience. I know 1st and 2nd hand what a hard job it is and live in hope of a media portrayal that reflects those challenges. Sadly all this one will do is reinforce all sorts of stereotypes, awful stuff!

  9. TH January 13, 2018 at 12:45 am #

    Why is the social worker portrayed as easy-going and laissez-faire, while the police officers are played as firm and thorough? When will TV drama resist the stereotypes? ‘Good TV’ and real life don’t mix easily.

  10. Stuart January 13, 2018 at 8:03 am #

    Where was the HCPC when you needed them?