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Friday, 6 October, 2000, 05:38 GMT 06:38 UK
Drama focuses on child abuse
Steven Mackintosh and Maria Pride
Steven Mackintosh as Davey and Maria Pride as Pauline
The story of a young adult trying to come to terms with the abuse he suffered as a child in local authority care will be told in a one-off drama to be screened this weekend.

"Care" was filmed in Wales, and the drama draws on the experiences of people across the country, including the well-documented cases in Merseyside, Cleveland and north Wales.

Writer Kieran Prendiville read 'mountains' of witness statements before beginning work on the script.

Steven Mackintosh
The adult Davey: "Making a go of life"
"It is only then you can see the effect and the damage that has been done," says Prendiville.

"Care is a drama, not a documentary," he says.

"The characters and circumstances are fictional, but it's a genuine expression of the rage and shame that this kind of abuse generates."

The central character, Davey, is abused by a paedophile gang in a children's home.

He finally plucks up the courage to tell a school inspector, only to discover that he too is involved in the ring.

The situation eventually proves too much for one of his friends, who commits suicide.

"Davey has tried to put all this behind him when we first meet him," explains Steven Mackintosh, the actor who plays the adult Davey.

"He has met a woman who loves him and has built up a real rapport with her kids. This is a man making a go of his life, building a little family."

Aled Eirug
Aled Eirug: Care is 'a fine piece of work'
But the domestic dream explodes into a nightmare when Davey sees a TV news item about an investigation into allegations of abuse at the children's home.

A journalist tries to persuade him to give evidence about the magistrate, but his court appearance is a disaster.

It is then that Davey cracks, giving in to all the years of pent-up anger, frustration and torment.

One of the drama's executive producers, Aled Eirug, head of BBC Wales News and Current Affairs, said: "It not only saw real co-operation between News and Drama - two departments which, some might think, would not get on well; but also strong collaboration between Wales and London.

"Care is a fine piece of work and its impact will be significant."

Rights debate

Later on Sunday evening, Huw Edwards will chair a debate about the rights of the child, called Forgotten Children.

The debate's panel will include Sir Ronald Waterhouse who chaired the North Wales child abuse tribunal; Care writer Kieran Prendiville and abuse victim and writer Fred Fever.

They will discuss, among other things why so many abuse scandals went undetected for so long, and how children can be best protected in future.

Care will be shown on Sunday on BBC1 at 2100BST.

The debate programme - Forgotten Children - will follow at 2300BST.

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