Polly Curtis

Books Alice Lutyens, +44 (0)20 7393 4400 Email Alice Lutyens

Behind Closed Doors

book | Non-Fiction | 2022
UK & Comm excluding Canada → Little, Brown & Company (Ed. Rose Tomaszewska)

We now take more children in to care than ever before, and more than any other western country. (Not because of a rise in physical or sexual abuse, but because of a complicated web of factors that is poorly understood and little researched.)

It is a system where fathers are ignored, and mothers are punished for experiencing abuse. Rife with prejudices about race, ableism and class, determined by a postcode lottery. Blind to poverty and its effects on family life. And, at its very worst, an exercise in social engineering that can never replace parental love.

This is not a soft issue. Not a ‘women and children’ problem. It is a prism through which we can understand the deepest issues at play in politics, economics and society today, and it is happening behind closed doors. 

Because of legal restrictions against reporting in family courts, and the uneasy work of social care, these problems remain out of our sight. They are the subject of horror headlines or stale statistics. But family life is at the heart of who we are as people, and it is people who can help us understand. 

From the mother whose children were taken away to the father who fought for his son; from radical social workers to judges and lawyers; from foster carers to adoptive parents to children in care; from North to South, rich and poor, Black and white, these are the people who know, first hand, what is going wrong – and how we can fix it.

These are their stories.


Film Rights


Contact Luke Speed for more information

Sarah Harvey manages the translation rights for Behind Closed Doors

Alice Lutyens
+44 (0)20 7393 4400
Email Alice Lutyens