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.

Polly Curtis

Polly Curtis

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

The story of Peter Connelly casts a long shadow across the child protection system in the UK

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

MEMBER PANEL

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.

Lucy Butler

Lucy Butler

Director of Oxfordshire Children’s Services

David Holmes

David Holmes

Chief Executive of Family Action

Victoria Scott

Victoria Scott

Family mediator

LOUISE TICKLE

LOUISE TICKLE

Journalist and campaigner on transparency in the courts

Lynsey Blas

Lynsey Blas

Previously a police officer with the Metropolitan police

Belinda Harding

Belinda Harding

Former family court judge