Protecting our Children: Episode 2

Our guide to episode 2 of the BBC social work documentary


Protect the children - trio

Camilla Pemberton examines the response of social workers to the second episode of the BBC’s documentary series Protecting Our Children

Monday night’s episode of the BBC series Protecting Our Children seemed to provoke an even more positive online reaction than the first – even winning over some of the first film’s critics.

In particular, there was huge praise on Twitter and our live debate for the empathetic and calm-headed approach of social worker Annie (pictured) – seen supporting young couple Shaun and Marva during their fourth pregnancy – and her manager Arthur.

There was animated discussion, and some amusement, at the sight of Annie flanked by two burly security guards during home visits. (The security guards, like the social workers, were employed by Bristol Council for all the viewers who asked last night).

There was debate around the role of adult services in child protection cases, to support parents with mental health and substance misuse problems – as we saw last night. And of course there was the all-important question of whether the series will improve the public perception of social work. (Most viewers said they were hopeful but not quite convinced yet.)

twitter.jpgHere’s a quick round-up of views, thoughts and reflections from the web (more to follow soon):

@VjLupton (via Twitter)
Even more sure I’m doing right by getting my degree after #protectingourchildren amazing people making a difference.

@CathyAshley Family Rights Group (via Twitter)
Very moving #protectingourchildren. Sympathetic portrayal of all involved. Complete respect for social worker & her manager.

@mwilliamsthomas (via Twitter)
Half way through prog- very impressed so far – Annie a credit to the profession @ComCareChildren #protectingourchildren”

@mrspentleton (via Twitter)
#protectingourchildren. Massive respect 2 the SW. Massive respect 2 the foster carer. Everyone should watch this. Pay attention media!

@SteveDonnan (via Twitter)
Social workers get such a bad rap, I think they do an incredibly difficult and dangerous job. Takes great strength #protectingourchildren

@BASW_UK British Association of Social Workers (via Twitter)
Social worker showing great resilience & empathy, lets hope her other 14 cases are not as challenging!

And you can replay our debate from last night here:

Episode Two: Meet the main characters

Annie - Protect our Children

Annie: Social worker

Annie, 48, is a social worker with eight years’ experience based at St Michael’s hospital in Bristol. Viewers will see her working with Shaun and partner Marva during Marva’s fourth pregnancy. The couple have already had three children removed after social workers decided they were not fit to care for them and, due to their previous behaviour, Annie has to be accompanied by two security guards during meetings. But the case has an outcome that no one could have predicted.
Arthur - Protect our Children

Arthur: Team manager

Arthur, Annie’s team manager, currently looks after hospital teams at Southmead and St Michaels. He began his social work career in 1993, with Avon County Council, and became a team manager in 1998. He knows Shaun and Marva well, having worked with them before, and supervises Annie as she looks for new opportunities for Marva and her baby.

Why we back Bristol social workers

Sunday Telegraph

Unlike one national newspaper, Community Care does not think it is right to criticise social work practice based on one hour of programming

Assessing safety and managing emotion

Lucy Rai

Lucy Rai, of series co-producers the Open University, sets out key learning points from episode 2

Behind the scenes with series director

Sacha Mirzoeff

Protecting Our Children director Sacha Mirzoeff explains how the series avoided sensationalism and the bandwagon of poor social work media coverage

Episode 2: preview

Protect the Children title screen

Producers have promised that the second episode of Protecting Our Children will be even better than the first and will tackle issues such as homelessness, violence and alcohol

Free pregnancy and substance misuse guide

To mark the screening of Protecting Our Children, Community Care Inform is offering free copies of an expert-written, in depth guide to alcohol and drug use in pregnancy (Pic: Liz Gregg/Mood Board/Rex Features)

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Replay last week’s debate

We round up some of the best comments from last week’s Protecting Our Children live chat. Plus, you can read all the comments by replaying the whole discussion.

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