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Criminal Care? · 22 May 2019

Howard League in the news

We have spent the last few months on this programme working closely with a number of journalists to highlight some of the issues raised around the criminalisation of children in residential care.

Last night BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 broadcast an episode looking at our concerns and interviewing myself and a number of other people working in the sector. The documentary includes figures that we are collating on police call-outs to children’s homes from Freedom of Information requests. We’ll be publishing that data in more detail and with some more context in the summer.

On Monday evening, Newsnight on BBC Two ran the first film in a series looking at “Britain’s Hidden Children’s Homes” – semi-independent accommodation for 16-and 17-year-olds that is unregulated and unregistered.

As part of that film we supported ‘Amy’, who is now 19, and her moving account is at the centre of this 22-minute video. At the end of the video, there is a studio discussion between presenter Emily Maitlis and reporter Katie Razzall, in which our work is mentioned.


I also appeared on BBC London News to reflect on aspects of Newsnight’s findings too.

Earlier this month we also supported Ella Dhillon, who has worked with us before, to tell her story as part of a film by Channel 4 News.

Giving young people platforms to tell their stories and to highlight the wider issues is a key part of what we seek to do at the Howard League. This kind of media work takes a huge amount of preparation and I want to thank not only ‘Amy’ and Ella, but my colleagues Rob Preece and Claire Sands. Without their help and expertise, we would not have been able to make our contribution to such in-depth and sensitive media coverage.

Andrew Neilson


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