Shannon Matthews Now

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In the aftermath of the trial, revelations about the life that Shannon Matthews and her siblings had endured with their mother were widely highlighted and politicised by the media. The "welfare state" was heavily scrutinised. The Daily Telegraph, described a "dysfunctional family where children equalled benefits", a claim that was supported by Shannon's aunt, Julie Poskitt. Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips claimed the case of Shannon Matthews and several other high-profile cases of child abuse were the result of the "culture of greed" that had developed after the introduction of child benefit and other forms of financial support for single mothers since the 1970s, and she blamed the welfare system for creating a generation of "feral youths". Phillips also criticized the actions of social workers, although they were under pressure from local government to reduce the number of children on the child protection register and Shannon Matthews had been removed from the register at the end of 2005, as social workers thought that the family was "settling down".

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