Is BBC Scotland’s promotion of call to reduce number of children in care dangerously ill-informed?

chilcare.png

BBC Scotland’s report today on the research showing a 75% increase in the number of children in care since 2004 is, typically, short on context or critical assessment. The research from the University of Central Lancashire showing this increase to be greater than in other parts of the UK was led by an academic whose research ‘focuses on the overemphasis on risk in the child protection system’ was accepted uncritically.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-46564865

Reader comment: I too would have thought that it is the number of children who are NEEDING to be taken into care that we should want to reduce. Seeking to reduce the number IN care without due attention to evidence on the nature and scale of need is an objective with obvious potential for bad, even if unintended, outcomes. 

I’m no expert here but isn’t risk to the child easily the most important, critical, factor in this and might the increase in Scotland have been the correct thing to do? See this graph and comment on the number of children on the child protection register in the four nations of the UK:

chcaregraph

‘Scotland has seen an increase in the proportion of children on the child protection register over the last decade, but this proportion remains notably low compared to the rest of the UK as Scotland did not have large increases in children on the register in 2007-2011 as seen in the rest of the UK.’

https://www.gov.scot/publications/childrens-social-work-statistics-2016-17/pages/4/

Could the increase in the number of children taken into care in Scotland have prevented the dramatic increase in the number of children at risk we see in the other parts of the UK? This seems an obvious consideration to me but I, unlike BBC Scotland, remain open to alternative views.

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4 thoughts on “Is BBC Scotland’s promotion of call to reduce number of children in care dangerously ill-informed?

  1. Alasdair Macdonald December 19, 2018 / 4:10 pm

    This is a fairly typical article by Ms Lucy Adams, in which she selects data, but does not present context.

    Your graph for example, shows that the numbers of children in care in Scotland is notably less than elsewhere. The graph shows a mild upward trend. In any case 25% of a small quantity is itself a small quantity.

    She uses unspecific terms like ‘parents’ and ‘academics’. A New York scheme is advanced as a way of supporting parents, which might well be useful, but why has it been included? Did the scheme organiser provide a press release.

    She makes a comparison between unnamed adjacent councils, perhaps having selected an ‘outlier’, with no all Scotland data to see what the variation is.

    Looked after children is a very important issue and requires specific consideration in individual cases. It is worthy of a series of articles, but this is not one of them. It is ‘dog whistling’, which has a long history with this particular reporter.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gerry Roberrtson December 19, 2018 / 8:56 pm

    Just another brick in the wall of an ignorant voting public. It is all coming together for them as they are simply stepping up to the propoganda plate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. stewartb December 20, 2018 / 12:10 am

    I too would have thought that it is the number of children who are NEEDING to be taken into care that we should want to reduce. Seeking to reduce the number IN care without due attention to evidence on the nature and scale of need is an objective with obvious potential for bad, even if unintended, outcomes.

    Is this the best ‘journalism’ we can have from the BBC? Certainly comes nowhere close to this:

    “.. value (of journalism) flows from its purpose, to provide people with verified information they can use to make better decisions, and its practices, the most important of which is a systematic process – a discipline of verification – that journalists use to find not just the facts, but also the ‘truth about the facts’.”

    (Source: https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/journalism-essentials/what-is-journalism/makes-journalism-different-forms-communication/ )

    Not very much of this evident in Scotland!

    Like

  4. johnrobertson834 December 20, 2018 / 8:02 am

    I too would have thought that it is the number of children who are NEEDING to be taken into care that we should want to reduce. Seeking to reduce the number IN care without due attention to evidence on the nature and scale of need is an objective with obvious potential for bad, even if unintended, outcomes.

    In a nutshell.

    Like

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