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Community Care on The Lost Child

Star Rating: 4/5

I hope this DVD is an indicator of just how far on-a-shoestring, role play-reliant social care training has come. The fact that this is a DVD for one blows the cobwebs off the technophobe perception of top-loading VCRs, writes Graham Hopkins.

Back in the early 1990s, I remember having to use a video of Monty Python’s parrot sketch on my courses on social care complaints just to have a visual break. But it is the top-notch quality of this professional production that stands out. Happily, it is a quality that training resources – often themselves the neglected child of social care organisations – are increasingly now providing.

Bravely commissioned by Lancashire social services to explore child protection and parental mental illness, the 30-minute film for the most part convincingly traces the relationship between Alison (Anita Parry) a make-the-best-of-it mum and Nick (MikeBerenger) a mentally-ill study in smouldering tension.

It is seen in flashback through the eyes of their 16-year-old daughter, Tina (Frankie Walker), the acting star of the piece – despite her accent occasionally wandering up and down the M1. Her line, “I’m not a child – don’t think I’ve ever been a child,” is the film’s sound central message.

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