When did the central aim of parenting become preparing children for success? This reigning paradigm, which dictates that every act of nurturing be judged on the basis of whether it will usher a child toward a life of accomplishment or failure, embodies the fundamental insecurity of global capitalist culture, with its unbending fixation on prosperity and the future. When each nurturing act is administered with the distant future in mind, what becomes of the present? A child who soaks in the ambient anxiety that surrounds each trivial choice or activity is an anxious child, formed in the hand-wringing, future-focused image of her anxious parents. Like so many others in the jittery child-rearing mob, Julie Lythcott-Haims has identified overparenting as a trap.
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The Adult is the story of Jim Thorne: "child of the nineties, adult of the noughties, product of his times". It's also the third novel from Joe Stretch, born, like his narrator, in and raised, much like Jim, in the north. This is a coming-of-age novel soaked in bittersweet sentimentality: for Big Brother as social experiment, rather than production line of almost-famous sociopaths; for Shearer and Sheringham and the summer of Euro 96; and for what might have been — had Gazza not checked his run, had boomtime Britain not gone bust, had the promise of permanent progress not turned out to be a fat-cat-friendly farce. The Adult traverses two decades in the life of one family, moving back and forth between the happy-go-lucky 90s and the recession-ridden present day. Jim is ruinously clumsy and hopeless in love, with a complexion of "decapitated spots" lobbed off by his sister's Ladyshave and the permanent anguish of a socially awkward adult trapped in the body of a socially awkward teenager.
The Care Act states that Safeguarding Adult Boards SABs must arrange a Safeguarding Adult Review SAR when an adult in its area dies as a result of abuse or neglect, whether known or suspected, and there is concern that partner agencies could have worked together more effectively to protect the adult. This is a statutory responsibility. The overall purpose of a Safeguarding Adult Review is to promote learning and improve practice, not to re-investigate or to apportion blame.