Researching Reform is a project improving policy and law for children in the UK and beyond. Our Voice of the Child Podcasts feature experts, families and campaigners talking about how politics, law and current affairs affect children.
In 2014, Alison O'Reilly broke a story about a mother and children's home in Tuam, Ireland, which had stored the remains of 796 children, in a septic tank.
The home had been operational from 1925 to 1961, and was part of a wider policy to 're-home' children born to unmarried mothers, who were considered by the state to be unable to care for their children.
The story was reported on around the world.
Six years later, on July 27th, another report involving more than 1,000 children who had died, this time at Sean Ross Abbey, was published.
Alison talks to the Voice of the Child about the growing number of children who died in these homes, and how she came to break the story about the Tuam baby deaths.
We also discuss whether the mass deaths could be classified as genocide, as more information emerges about how the children died.
She also outlines what she thinks of the UK's care system today, why adoption and foster care policies need to change, and why she feels the voice of the child is still not at the forefront of social work.
Children with a Parent in Prison
What happens to a child when one or both of their parents go to prison, and what is life like for a child with a parent in jail?
Sarah Burrows, founder of award winning charity Children Heard and Seen, explains.
The transcript for this podcast can be found at: https://researchingreform.net/2020/07/16/children-with-parents-in-prison-diagnosed-with-ptsd-voice-of-the-child-podcast/
Children in Prison
There are currently over 800 children in prison in the UK, with at least half coming through the care system. While incidents of physical restraint and self harm in detention centres have risen dramatically, the number of black children and children from other ethnic minorities continue to be disproportionately represented inside prison settings.
Award winning charity Safe Ground, talks about life in prison for children, why the new lockdown rules in prison amount to child abuse for children on the inside, and how a brave group of boys are disrupting the sector to make things better.
The transcript for this podcast can be found at: https://researchingreform.net/2020/07/09/if-a-family-did-that-to-a-child-the-child-would-be-removed-from-them-voice-of-the-child-podcast/
Children And The Novel Coronavirus - What We Know So Far (Part II)
Dr Thomas Waterfield talks about a new nationwide study with Public Health England, looking at how COVID-19 affects children.
Dr Waterfield also explains what we know now about the virus within a paediatric context, and some surprising new findings.
He also reveals details about new research which has just been submitted to medical journal The Lancet, looking at COVID-19 "attack rates" in children, and what he would like his next study on children and the novel Coronavirus to focus on.
The transcript for this podcast can be found at:https://researchingreform.net/2020/06/24/covid-19-and-children-what-we-know-so-far-voice-of-the-child-podcast/
Damaged - A Life in Care
Actor and youth ambassador Chris Wild talks about his experience of the care system in the UK and the experiences of his friends who were also in care at the same time.
Chris reveals new details about his book "Damaged", and his latest project with BBC Newsnight, which looks at what life has been like for children inside Britain's care homes during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The transcript for this podcast can be found at: https://researchingreform.net/2020/06/19/it-was-like-a-dream-but-then-it-became-a-nightmare-because-i-found-out-most-of-it-was-real-voice-of-the-child-podcast/
What Happens in Custody Cases When A Parent Makes Allegations of Abuse?
In this podcast we speak with Professor Joan Meier about the first ever nationwide study in the US on child custody cases which feature allegations of abuse, domestic violence and parental alienation.
The study, led by Professor Meier, features controversial findings which suggest cultural and gender norms inside the US family courts are placing children at risk of harm.
The transcript for this podcast can be found at: https://researchingreform.net/2020/05/29/parents-who-make-allegations-of-abuse-in-child-contact-cases-voice-of-the-child-podcast/