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The forgotten children

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 22 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:249
  1. D H S Reid, consultant paediatrician
  1. St Andrews

    See p 229

    The term “forgotten children” could cover a wide variety of children in Britain. What I mean by the term is the children who have or have had a parent in jail.

    Many people will remember the film The Railway Children, which was based on a book by Edith Nesbit (1858–1924). This told the story of a family struggling to survive in reduced circumstances after the father had been falsely imprisoned. The children were not told that their father was in prison. Their memory was of a devoted father whom they loved dearly. When the eldest child discovered that her father was in prison by reading a newspaper report she became distraught, and her evident distress upset the other two children.

    These children are …

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