Just a quick heads-up for an important new 3-part BBC documentary series on child protection, commencing at 9pm tonight on BBC Two and BBC HD. Created with the help of the Open University, Protecting Our Children "follows Bristol's child protection teams over the course of a year [or 18 months, according to the OU] to see frontline work first-hand".
The BBC were offered special access to film the series, through a protocol drawn up with Bristol Council and ratified by the family court. The Head of Bristol Children's Services has indicated that the Council agreed to the series out of a belief that there needs to be more accurate reporting of the challenges social workers face and what they do in practice, as was the case when Bristol agreed to the 2004 BBC series Someone to Watch Over Me, and that need is perhaps even greater post-Baby P. Whether the series does improve the public understanding of social work will of course remain to be seen, but it is encouraging that the OU describes tonight's first episode as "an unbiased observational film where we get to understand both the professionals’ and parents’ points of view both revolving around [the child] and his future welfare".
You can read more about the series here.