Many words have been spilled about the loneliness of Batman, of his dark errand and how it separates him from humanity, leads him to live a loveless life, and makes him that guy in the Justice League meetings that nobody wants to lock eyes with. But he's also the guy with a ton of sidekicks, orphans, and otherwise displaced children in his care, and so just as many words have been spilled about this contradiction. The character entirely founded on an inability to properly deal with loss, who sometimes deals with that by refusing to form emotional attachments that he knows could be taken away at any moment, and sometimes deals with that by trying to help others who have experienced similar losses by becoming their new family.
Specifically, by adopting (sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally and legally) Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown and Damian Wayne. Yes, I'll be talking about the Post-Crisis, Pre-52 Batman, for many reasons but mostly because it's the period in Batman's existence where the most time has been spent talking about Batman and his affiliates as a family (and not in a silly 1950s sort of way). A messed up family, but a family nonetheless.
And while we as fans can look at the Bat-family and enjoy its weird politics and interpersonal relationships, the angst and the pathos and Alfred as a sort of worried-but-never-showing-it over-father, it wouldn't be complete without comics telling us how everybody else in the DC Universe, specifically normal Gotham citizens, view it. Which brings us to one of my favorite issues of Gotham Knights, a comic that ran from 2000-2006 and was exclusively about Bat-family interpersonal relationships. The issue's main character isn't actually a member of the Bat-family, but instead a social worker who begins the issue by pointing out to his coworker that Bruce Wayne was just acquitted of a very nearly conclusive murder charge, he's notoriously flakey and documentedly accident prone, he's had four child wards in the past fifteen years and one of them died in an "Ethiopian warehouse fire" that went pretty much without investigation. His coworker tells him to cool it: Wayne is old money, and nobody messes with old money in Gotham city if they value their lives. It's good advice, independent of the fact that Wayne is secretly a very upstanding citizen. The guy doesn't listen.
And so that's how Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, and Cassandra Cain find themselves being interviewed by a social worker concerned that they may have been raised or are still living in an unsafe environment as Bruce almost doesn't make his interview on time because he's out being Batman. Everybody winds up telling the guy the truth (not counting a lot of great big lies of omission), Bruce sheds honest tears, and the social worker ends up walking away without pressing any charges.