‘BRILLIANT . . . I LOVE THIS BOOK’ LEMN SISSAY
‘A MUST-READ BOOK’ JACQUELINE WILSON
‘EXTRAORDINARY’ OLIVER BULLOUGH
‘EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK’ HILARY COTTAM
Meet the mother whose children were taken away, and the father who fought for his son. Listen to the radical social worker, the judge, the lawyer. See inside the homes of foster carers, adoptive parents and children in care.
Because behind closed doors, a scandal is ongoing. We now remove more children from their parents than ever before, more than any other western country. Not because of a rise in physical or sexual abuse, but because of complex factors that are overlooked and misunderstood.
Children’s Care is a system where fathers are ignored, and mothers are punished for experiencing abuse. Rife with prejudices about race, ableism and class, determined by a postcode lottery. Blind to poverty and its effects on family life.
And, at its very worst, an exercise in social engineering that can never replace parental love. This is not a soft issue. Not a ‘women and children’ problem.
It is a prism through which we can understand the deepest issues at play in politics, economics and society today, and it is happening behind closed doors. Because of legal restrictions against reporting in family courts, the uneasy work of social care and the shame poured on parents, these problems remain out of our sight. They are the subject of horror headlines or stale statistics.
But family life is at the heart of who we are as people, and it is they who can help us understand. From North to South, rich and poor, Black and white, these are the people who know, first-hand, what is going wrong – and how we can fix it. These are their stories.
‘IMPORTANT’ IAN BIRRELL’VITAL’ HANNAH JANE PARKINSON’ONE OF BRITAIN’S BEST JOURNALISTS WRITING ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE’ MARIANA MAZZUCATO