The first, which I should have emphasised more in my own post (or did the original programme make it less clear than it should have?), is that:
The articulate middle class Quaker family got their kids back after a couple of months (thank god) the illiterate single mother whose abusive husband was in jail didn't get her kids back for five years. That's how it works.His second point is that:
What was interesting to me was that the attitude to child abuse had supposedly changed in the eighties, but actually it was still the same - children were ignored and bullied by adults to say what the adults wanted to hear. It was just that what adults wanted to hear had changed. Child abuse was still a supposed 'taint' on the child - the children were treated like criminals, one was locked in an young offenders institution (why?) and their emotions were trampled on. It seems to change, but it stays the same.You can see both these points borne out in this extended Times report on the Rochdale case, which predated that in Orkney:
Daniel has only hazy memories of the day that his childhood effectively ended. He vaguely recalls, at the age of 6, being taken to the head teacher’s office at school, of strangers arriving and taking him away in a car. He remembers sitting in a small room filled with toys as a social worker asked him endless questions, of pleading for his mother but instead being taken that night to a Catholic children’s home where they put him in a bath and scrubbed him with nailbrushes. He didn’t know it then, but he would not return home for another ten years.I found this report via Richard Webster's site. It has not been updated for some months now, but there is a lot of interesting material there.