Why this case file? The number of children going into care in England and Wales is higher than at any point since the 1980s. Are parents getting more dangerous and neglectful? Or is the state less confident in some families’ ability to parent – or in its own ability to help them? This is the story of everyday family separation in the UK and the US.
Editor and partner at Tortoise, Polly is leading this case file. Previously a reporter at the Guardian, she wrote about education, social affairs and politics before moving into editing. More recently, she edited HuffPost in the UK.
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Part One: Trust
09 April 2019
“You never lose the fear of the knock on the door”
Part Two: Data
27 April 2019
One in five children are referred to social workers by their fifth birthday
Part Three: Postcode Lottery
16 May 2019
Your chances of your kids being taken into care are, in part, dictated by where you live
Part Four: Decision-Making
04 June 2019
‘I refused to say goodbye’: One family’s experience of the most difficult decision the state can make
Part Five: Evidence Vacuum
16 June 2019
Senior judge warns that courts are making decisions to separate families without evidence
Part Six: Baby P
06 July 2019
Tortoise has spent the year investigating why so many children are going into care. What have we learned so far?
Part Seven: What we’ve learned so far
14 August 2019
Our case file has taken us across England, interviewing hundreds of people and holding four ThinkIns. This is what we’ve learned so far.
Part Eight: Lost boy
31 August 2019
New York City has cut the number of children in care, but at a cost.
The story of a Tortoise case file
16 June 2019
From a ThinkIn in the Bronx to the launch of a new “members’ panel”, this is how a case file works
Our members are at the heart of our journalism. The member panel for this project all have expertise in this subject and are helping shape how we pursue this story.
Director of Oxfordshire Children’s Services
Chief Executive of Family Action
Journalist and campaigner on transparency in the courts
Former Analyst for Thames Valley Police
Former family court judge