This is proper documentary-making. Television that takes time, takes planning and doesn't have an ending until it ends. Sensitively shot, harrowingly real... it had me in tears several times. The idiot public's perspective on social-workers, post Baby P and Victoria Climbie, would be altered fundamentally were this to be made compulsory viewing. I've always had huge admiration for the people who have to make the hard decisions about the protection of children - perhaps because Alison is one of them - but this couldn't have done any more to bring home just how difficult their job is. The - brilliant - social worker in episode two went off sick for two weeks after the events that concluded it and I don't think anyone could fail to understand why.
Googling around to see what the press made of it, I stumbled across this article. Too bloody right - we need more beautiful, considered television like this and a rapid demise for the brain-deadening fabrication that is modern 'reality' TV.