Tim Gill – Who is to blame? (p.61)
1. Discuss in small groups why
‘blame’ seems to be a prominent
aspect of contemporary culture.
2. How do you feel about blame?
(as ‘the blamed’ and/or ‘the
In ‘Loco Parentis’ (Tim Gill, p.63)
• What does this term mean?
• Which ‘yardstick’ do the courts use in
• Do you think ‘uncertainty’ (risk) applies to the
concept of ‘loco parentis’?
Was this a risk too far? (What if you
worked for the nursery in question?)
Every Child Matters or Every £
“For both pre-school and school-age
children, the last decade has seen a
dramatic expansion in the time spent
in formal childcare. The main reasons
for this expansion have been
economic, not educational”. (Gill,
Read Gill, p. 69, from ‘If care
Consider the following points and feedback:
1. Overriding priority to return children
2. Little incentive to allow children to experiment?
3. Hurt/distress means (staff) taking a risk
4. Low status?
5. No time for reflection & planning?
6. High turnover – cannot develop sustained
The media is ‘to blame’ (sic)
Senior BBC journalist, Andrew
Marr: “to sell papers, news
must move and that often
means provoking fear” (cited in
Gill: ‘Beyond Risk Aversion’
• The situation is complex.
• Proposals for the future are equally
“Resilience means finding ways to
function in a world when bad things
happen. So what distinguishes it from
fatalism, indifference or negligence”
Disguised compliance: ‘Clouding’ risk
• Parent/Carer distracts professionals away
• Involves ‘apparent’ parental cooperation.
• Can be identified by family’s failure to ‘change’
• Professionals need to challenge there own
held assumptions, play ‘devil’s advocate’ (i.e.
frequently internally ask ‘what if…?’)
• Why is playing ‘devil’s advocate’ difficult?
Cases in the news:
A: Peter Connolly’s mother to be released
B: Hamzah Khan
C: Daniel Pelka
• How do you think ‘blame’ feature in these
• Do you consider that ‘disguised compliance’
was an issue in these cases?
• There are pressures on services (i.e. nurseries and
childcare) to be risk averse.
• Gill argues that this is for economic rather than
• Disguised compliance involves practitioners being
‘taken in’ by parents.
• Disguised Compliance (DC) can exist at the
preventative end of the child protection process, and
unfortunately often identified ‘after’ a tragic event.
• We can mediate against DC by being reflective, asking
questions, and building strong relationships with the
children (‘seeing’ the child).