Kiri gets rave reviews - but social workers criticise plot

From BBC - January 11, 2018

Spoiler alert: Contains plot details

Sarah Lancashire's new drama Kiri has received rave reviews - but some social workers are less impressed about how their profession was portrayed.

The four-part Channel 4 series focuses on social worker Miriam Grayson and nine-year-old Kiri, who disappears on an unsupervised visit she arranges.

But some said they were "disappointed" at aspects of its plot.

Channel 4 said "extensive background research" was carried out and that social workers were consulted.

Kiri, written by Jack Thorne - who was also behind Robbie Coltrane's National Treasure - was also accused of not portraying social work in a positive light.

In it, Miriam - played by Happy Valley actress Lancashire - is seen drinking early in the morning before driving, paying an informal visit to a previous client and bringing her dog to work.

She then takes Kiri from her foster parents for the visit to her grandparents before her adoption goes through. But while there, she is abducted by her birth father.

Consultant social worker Ingrid Richardson asked broadcasters to make television dramas about social work "showcasing positive stories, relationships and outcomes - they are real, they do happen".

Some also commented that Miriam would have been sacked.

However, some also argued that it was not meant to be factually representative of the reality of social work.

A Channel 4 spokesman said Kiri was a "complex and entirely fictional" drama, with "fully-drawn, three-dimensional figures, each with their own human flaws and personal difficulties".

He said: "The drama explores, among other topics, the vast pressures placed upon social workers and the very difficult job they do.

"Extensive background research was undertaken to ensure the themes explored within the drama were accurately and authentically portrayed and social workers, various departments within the police and charities were all consulted during the scriptwriting and development stages."

'Riveting' drama

Critics were impressed by the first episode.

'Oozing empathy'


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