Protecting Our Children - Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don't

Confirmed for Mon 30 Jan on BBC Two at 9-10pm

Ep 1/3

Monday 30 January



Tragic cases such as Baby P and Victoria Climbié thrust the social work profession into the media spotlight, but few understand the complexities behind the work of child protection social workers.

After years of negotiation with Bristol City Council, NHS Trusts, Family Courts and the police, the BBC has unprecedented access to the social workers and their clients. BBC Two follows the child protection teams as they make life-changing decisions for the city’s children.

In Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don’t newly-qualified Susanne is working with a 'low risk' family. But even the most straightforward situations often develop into something more ominous.

Her first case is to help a family with their three year-old son Toby, who has learning difficulties. His parents need support and advice about how to improve their parenting, as well as the conditions of their small flat.

However, dad Mike's hostility towards Susanne means she can’t help the family in the way she would like. The risk in the case increases when unexplained bruises are found on Toby. More experienced social workers are drafted in to help Susanne but the parents still won’t accept the support.

After months of trying to affect change, the team manger Sallyanne decides to take the case to court. As the situation deteriorates further, mum Tiffany gets pregnant. Her unborn child becomes another case for the social workers.

Protecting Our Children is made in partnership with The Open University.