THIS week the 'Daily Telegraph' ran a story with the headline 'Irish social workers are horrified by their ruthless English counterparts'. In it, we're told how a far more humane approach to issues, including child protection and the aim of keeping families together, exists in Ireland.
It gives examples of British families who have fled across the Irish Sea in their bid to escape social workers in England.
While the approach of Irish social workers may differ from those in England, it seems simplistic to categorise the latter as "ruthless".
In the week that the tragic 'Baby P' case is back in the news, as two sacked social workers are appealing their treatment, the article appears to draw comparisons between two totally different societies.
Social workers in England are in a lose-lose situation. Bring a child into care and they're categorised as being inhumane; allow a child to remain with their parent(s) and they're accused of not doing their job properly.
Also, it's dangerous to give the impression that Ireland is 'soft' on child protection.
The aim of doing what's best for children in danger is as important to English social workers as it is to their Irish counterparts, although the pressures placed upon them from above may be different.
Any accusations should be levelled against the system -- and not at those on the ground who are trying to do their jobs.