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4.4 out of 5 stars19
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 21 April 2008
It`s not often we get to hear what the social workers or the child care workers have to say regarding specific cases of child abuse, but here we are, shane is telling us the stories of 3 families with deep problems, and how he - along with his colleagues - dealt with them. Although i enjoyed this book i can`t imagine there are many child care workers who are still sitting with distured or upset kids at 7pm, when they should have finished work at 5pm - as shane says he did. If shane did half the stuff he tells us he did - and i`m not saying for a minute that i don`t believe him - then he is indeed an angel in the social care field - and i doubt there are many of those around. I find it very difficult to imagine a whole group of social workers downing tools in the office and rushing off to calm down 6 siblings who have just been moved to another `home` and are carrying on. And forgive me, but i have yet to hear of a social worker who takes kids to macdonalds on a regular basis so that they can live out their `childish dreams.` Aaaalsooo- A WHOLE DAY sat waiting in the car for one child who wasn`t home when he called....? And the regression thing...? Do social services really do that ? Set up a room in your house to take one disturbed child back to her time in the womb...? Taking into account that this `child` was 15 years of age, i doubt very much that social services would - or would even be allowed to - go to those lengths. It`s all very `look what a great job we do with these kids` sort of thing, and it left me wondering - as the social workers appear to be so vigilant - how on earth kids like JOE PETERS ( cry silent tears )managed to `slip through the net`....? Joe was locked in the cellar by his mother for about three years - AND NOBODY EVEN MISSED HIM ! Where were all the shanes of the child social care world then..?
I did enjoy your book shane, and in fact i have just ordered your next one, but you really do need to start giving us the hard facts now. I, for one, have read many, many books on true child abuse, and even i know that there is never a happy ending - and i have yet to hear of even one case where the child is watched over daily by his or her social worker.
As i said shane, it`s not that i don`t believe you, but i think you tend to `gloss over` some facts,leave others out completely, and maybe give the child social care world far too many undeserved pats on the back. In my opinion a few kicks up the backside wouldn`t go amiss !!
`Having a meeting, sitting around drinking coffee and eating apple sponge` - yes - that sounds about right - that`s how i imagined it...
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on 10 April 2007
If you like Torey Hayden's books, you will probably like this. Shane Dunphy focuses his attention on three particular families. The reader sees his relationship with the particular children unfold, not necessarily with happy endings. As with Torey Hayden's books, there is an element of mystery, some as yet unknown 'key' to understanding the children's behaviour, so that there is a sense in which these books resemble detective novels. Also as with Torey Hayden, even the most difficult children are portrayed in a sympathetic light, so that the reader is interested in knowing what happens to them.
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on 20 January 2015
One word 'excellent'.
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on 8 March 2016
very good read
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on 22 March 2011
Shane Dunphy is now one of my favourite authors, this is the second book of his I've read, I love a mixture of books, but too not read him is criminal.....I love that you get an overview of what happens to the poor kids in these books after the professionals have had their input.
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on 5 December 2015
Goid book
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on 13 November 2012
Not as good as his other books - a bit disjointed - his other books are much better. Not worth the money from the vendor as it was slightly damaged when recieved.
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on 28 June 2010
shanes books are amazing and i will be reading all of his, im on my third one so far. havent read this one yet. This book was second hand and had spinal marks from when the book has been opened and it was a bit bent but other than that it was a great book.
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on 29 June 2006
I was looking forward to reading this book. Like every sane and responsible human being I care about the welfare of our children. The writer has worked for fifteen years in the area of childcare, so I came to the book hoping I might learn something.

The writing is not bad, laboured in parts, but this can be forgiven in a first book. The narrative concentrates on three families, and particularly on three adolescent girls in each of the families. We hear how Shane, as a new recruit, dealt with the horror stories of their respective dysfunctions and how he tried to work with and befriend these little lost souls. Progress was very slow and I do not doubt he had a very difficult job. However the focus throughout seemed to be too much about 'Shane as Hero' and this began to really grate.

He really seemed to have problems with women in authority. Anyone he didn't agree with was criticized. Hardly the way for someone in such a job to behave.

If anything the whole exercise proved, for this reader anyway, that men should not work with children. To his credit the narrator realized this and left.

All in all I found the book rather disappointing. It lacked any historical background and did not deal in any depth with the weightier issues surrounding this whole complex subject.
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