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Posted 18/04/2011

Most of us think very little about children at risk of abuse and neglect. Every now and again a Baby P or a Brandon Muir becomes a headline. A moral and political storm follows and the inevitable inquiry reports back 2 years later that there has been a series of communication and process faults.

Of course by that time there has been another catalogue of anonymous and well- publicised cases.

Can we take comfort that a battery of social workers backed up by foster and adoption families are taking up the strain? Are the big ugly headlines the exception for a system that ticks along producing results and only now and again trips up?

In, “ A Home for Maisie” the BBC tell the story of one family who are on the brink of adopting Maisie a wee girl of about 9 years of age.

A week ago, prompted by a couple of days away with another family, I chatted to my own wee girl about being calm. Who in our circle of friends were really calm? Not disengaged but really calm?

A few days later, someone I know who has adopted two boys suggested I have a look at this film. I know that the film treads closely to her experience. Here we have a couple that have opened their door and their lives to adopting children.

Children did not ask to be born; they are not private possessions. It is hard to imagine an indicator of how civilized we are, or are not, than seeing what we collectively do to young children.

Get comfortable, have a look at the film, make a judgment at the end on how civilized we are and gasp at how calm some parents can be. 

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