Monday 16 September 2019

EastEnders social worker dubbed ‘cardboard cut-out’ by professional body

It has responded to the storyline involving Stacey Fowler.

National Television Awards 2017 – Press Room – London
National Television Awards 2017 – Press Room – London

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The British Association Of Social Workers has penned an open letter to EastEnders over what it called its “cardboard cut-out” depiction of its profession.

Viewers saw social services intervene and Stacey Fowler’s children going to stay the night with their grandmother after bruises were discovered on her son’s arm earlier this month.

Dr Ruth Allen, chief executive of the professional association representing social workers, said it wanted the soap to “keep tackling this very difficult area”.

The social worker comes back to visit Stacey (Lacey Turner) and Martin Fowler (James Bye) (Jack Barnes/BBC)

But she said some of the social worker’s actions in the scenes involving Stacey, played by Lacey Turner, were “wrong, and in places unlawful”.

She complained that the depiction of the social worker “was quite the cardboard cut-out” and that the dramatic action was “legally questionable, unlikely, but not impossible in the real world”.

She called for “the depiction of social work and the social worker” to be “more positive”.

But a spokeswoman for EastEnders said the BBC One soap had worked with a social worker on the scenes.

“EastEnders takes great care when portraying serious issues such as these and we worked closely with experts in the field including a social worker and police advisers to ensure the storyline was portrayed as accurately as possible,” the statement said.

“At no point was it our intention to portray social workers in a bad light, in fact, it was clear that the social worker simply wanted what was best for the children.”

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