Social Services’ Stamp feet over Subjective Storyline

Fury over Eastenders misleading social work storyline

Reports social work blog, CommunityCARE (online) Tuesday October 9, 2012

[Words from My*Angel ]

It is not very often that I get on my soapbox, but in light of the BBC’s recent “Lola Loses Lexi” ” storyline (aired on Friday’s episode of Eastenders – October 5th, 2012); and the complaints which have been lodged (by those in the industry) –

I would hate to disappoint!

It will come as no surprise that there has been outrage among those in the industry. as Social Workers and Campaigners both clogged the BBC and publicly posted in popular Social Networking sites, such as Facebook I have copied the article, from Community Care online – but I must advise readers to get plenty of tissues prior to continuing [below] to read of the “unfair” portrayal of Social Workers by the BBC [Boo-fuckin-hoo]:

Social workers and campaigners have condemned an ‘inaccurate’ and ‘misleading’ storyline on the BBC soap Eastenders, which showed a social worker removing a baby from a teenage mother

An Eastenders plot line has sparked outrage among social workers who have criticised the BBC for misrepresenting their work and putting children at risk. Last Friday’s episode of the popular soap, which is watched by millions around the UK, featured a social worker removing a baby from a teenage mother, apparently without sufficient grounds to do so. As soon as the storyline aired social workers took to social media to voice their concern over the ‘inaccurate’ and ‘misleading’ events seen on screen.

Many said they would complain directly to the BBC, while others posted the responses they had already received from the broadcaster. On Twitter, the charity The Who Cares? Trust called the soap’s storyline line an “unhelpful portrayal”, saying it had already received calls from members of the public “distressed about the Eastenders scene where a social worker snatches a baby from its mother’s arms”. The British Association of Social Workers also condemned the storyline, accusing BBC producers of being “too lazy and arrogant” to get their portrayal of the child protection process right. One social worker in a looked-after team said the soap’s portrayal of her profession had reduced her and a colleague to tears. “Accurate procedures were not followed…” she wrote. “Was it police protection, section 20? Where was the immediate risk to the baby? As a social worker, I was in tears, as was a colleague of mine, watching how our profession was portrayed on television.” Read the BBC’s response to one social worker’s complaintSocial workers writing on facebook and Twitter said the episode made a ‘mockery’ of their profession. One wrote: “It makes a mockery of our profession and does not appear to uphold any public trust, appreciation or understanding about what we do day in day out – in fact [it] only fuels further anguish, frustration and disrespect of the general public view of social services!” Another called the BBC’s response to her complaint “a joke”. “I complained straight away to the BBC – because my daughter looked at me with disgust and asked if that’s my job, ‘do I take children off people when they didn’t do anything wrong?’ – the reply the BBC sent me was a joke.” One facebook user, however, said the storyline was accurate. “I would have to say, from personal experience, the storyline was very accurate. There is good and bad in all professions, at least it shows how not to behave.” Bridget Robb, acting chief of the British Association of Social Workers, called the storyline “shabby” and said it had provoked “real anger among a profession well used to a less than accurate public and media perception of their jobs”. “It is disgraceful to see a publicly funded broadcaster deliberately spreading misinformation about the child protection process because it is too lazy and arrogant to get it right. We regularly give advice to programmes about social work storylines; we would like to know who advised Eastenders so badly. “Social workers have a difficult enough job as it is. Unlike the writers and actors on Eastenders, they have to step through those front doors that no one else wants to step through, and they do it on a daily basis, to protect children, not to target families. “Eastenders’ shabby portrayal of an entire profession has made a tough job even tougher.”


I am in absolute disbelief that individuals have the audacity to complain about the BBC’s portrayal of this Social Worker

Below I have listed the key words and phrases used within the content of these complaints – and see if any of these ring true/ sound familiar:

  1. Inaccurate
  2. Unfair (portrayal)
  3. Misleading
  4. Misrepresenting (their work)
  5. Without Sufficient Grounds (RE the removal of baby Lexi)
  6. Distressed (describes how the viewers felt when the SW snatched the baby from her mother’s arms)
  7. BASW described BBC Producers as “too Lazy and Arrogant” to get the portrayal of Child Protect right
  8. The soap left SW(s) in tears over how the profession was shown
  9. Accurate procedures were not followed…
  10. protect children…not target families (what SW’s daily routine entails)
  11. It shows how NOT to behave

I could continue to “cherry pick” buzz words used in the content of these complaints, but I am struggling to maintain my composure!

If Social Workers cannot see the bulls@%t going on right in front of them, it’s hardly surprising that tragedies such like that of Peter “Baby P” Connelly, and Victoria Climbe surface in our news. Totally avoidable and equally horrific, I have to wonder why there continues to be these unnecessary cases of abuse, resulted from a neglectful Family Support worker, complacent Social Worker, and/ or disturbed carer.

When it is apparent that Serious Case Reviews have no effect on a fractured system – I can only but conclude that the unthinkable cycle will continue as long as there is no accountability and consequence for the failure to protect an individual. There is only one way to do your job: And that’s THE RIGHT WAY!

The brutality of this abuse remains disturbing, but what hope is there if society would rather put it’s head in the sand rather than address the issues plaguing our system. Pull your cranium out of your asses and look at how truly pathetic our civil servants are – because addressing this alone has no greater effect than if one was to place a cherry on a turd!


Even Stevie Wonder could see what a poor excuse for the Social Care System we have :

In a time where so many SW are dependent on the world of “cut” & “paste”, I was about to acknowledge the efforts they at least put into these complaints; but then I realised that those very words could have been copied from Parent’s very own claims of maladministration and misfeasance; Not to mention the numerous articles featured in Newspapers like the Sunday Telegraph (Christopher Booker) , support networks, such as MP John Hemming’s organisation JUSTICE for FAMILIES, and Family Care Proceedings Awareness and Advisory Blogs, including Ian Joseph’s Forced-Adoption.

With this in mind, I must highlight the fact that, by expressing their grievances on the behaviour (or lack thereof) of the Local Authority – THEY ARE PUBLICLY CONFIRMING THEIR AWARENESS OF HOW THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO CONDUCT THEMSELVES AND ACKNOWLEDGE STANDARD PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED!


  1. Transparency in lieu of the veil of secrecy in our Family Courts
  2. Accountability
  3. Disposal of Adoption Scorecards
  4. Family reunification based incentives (rather than baby farming)
  5. Criminal Prosecution of Judges, Solicitors, Public Officials etc
  6. Name & Shame in lieu of the “blame game”

As I carefully step down from my podium, and draw closure to my sermon, I must bring your attention to one last item: Although the Local Authority made a valiant effort in rectifying any “damage-control” with the publishing of this article; it can only get set-aside by the awkwardness invoked with the headline that follows this post (on the Community Care Website):

MORE on Community Care: CHILDREN

……to sign-off without mentioning this, would just be plain rude!
street at night

To view this page directly from Community Care’s blog, please select the hyper-link below:

Image [scene] Lola holding Lexi moments before SW intervenes

The plot line showed Social Worker taking baby into care (Pic courtesy BBC)

Fury over Eastenders misleading social work storyline – 10/9/2012 – Community Care.

3 responses to “Social Services’ Stamp feet over Subjective Storyline

  1. Pingback: Social Services’ Stamp feet over Subjective Storyline | Public Law Children Act Cases |

  2. Pingback: The Local Government Ombudsman Operate the most perverse and publicly criticised system of administrative justice in the world. |

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