Numerous books have been written about Victorian child care pioneers, but few biographical studies have been published about more recent child care and welfare giants. In the revised edition of this classic book, Bob Holman, a champion for children in his own right, looks at the lives of six inspirational individuals who have made significant contributions to the well-being of disadvantaged children. Each of the six discussed - Eleanor Rathbone, Lady Marjory Allen, Clare Winnicott, John Stroud, Barbara Kahan and Peter Townsend - has been important in establishing present systems of child care and welfare, and in stimulating debate around issues which remain high on policy and practitioner agendas.
Champions for children is essential reading for childhood and youth studies, sociology of the family, social work, social welfare, academics and students with an interest in child care and welfare issues.
"Holman's literary eulogy to his champions is a recommended read for anyone like me who has a background of working with children or who is involved in campaigning for their rights. It is as enlightening as it is interesting and this is another reason why many others, students and social readers alike, will enjoy this fine book." Christian Socialist
"Valuable and absorbing... it offers a powerful perspective on our current situation in relation to the welfare of children, and the dramatic disadvantage of many of the communities in which our children live." Regeneration & Renewal
"It should be essential reading on every social work course, for the professional needs to understand what has been lost, but also to gain a vision for what would be possible if we learn from what has been contributed. Buy this book. Read it , and give it to others to read. It encourages and inspires." The Extra Mile
"Demonstrates how much can be achieved when people are driven more by the cause to improve children's lives than the pursuit of a career. The lesson for future workers is that in order to attain justice for children, we must be willing to be unpopular for the sake of this ultimate goal." Journal of Playwork Practice
"Bob Holman presents a fascinating and enlightening account of the lives and influences of a very diverse set of children's champions - feminists, socialists, public servants and academics. His book is a tapestry of progressive campaigns in twentieth-century British social policy and the complex crusaders who led them. Above all, it is informed by his own wisdom, experience and empathy. His outstanding contribution and his generous nature come through as clearly as the work of those he describes." Bill Jordan, Professor in Social Policy, Department of Social Work and Probation Studies, University of Exeter, UK
"Here is an endlessly absorbing and a characteristically passionately written book by an author who deserves his own rightful place among the 'champions for children'. That the challenges they confronted remain with us in the 21st century makes it all the more necessary to seek out the example of pioneers such as these." Terry Philpot, formerly Editor-in-Chief, now Consultant Editor, Community Care
"With child care and the needs of disadvantaged children high on the agenda today, Bob Holman's book is a timely reminder of the need for "Champions for Children" in our local communities as well as in politics." Cathy Jamieson, Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury
“Bob Holman’s latest book recognises the great contribution of earlier pioneers of work with children and with poverty. It is very readable and typically inspirational. One day, Bob will be listed amongst those Champions for Children.” Baroness Hilary Armstrong
After a period as a local authority child care officer, Bob Holman went into academic life for ten years. Having served as Professor of Social Administration at the University of Bath, he left to start a community project on the Southdown council estate in Bath. After ten years, he moved to Easterhouse in Glasgow to establish FARE (Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse), a child care community project on the Easterhouse estate where he and his wife lived between 1987 and 2005. Bob retired in 2005 to look after two grandsons but continues as a volunteer with FARE and Easterhouse Baptist Church. In 2011 he won The Daily Record Our Heroes award.
Eleanor Rathbone (1872-1946);
Marjory Allen (1897-1976);
Barbara Kahan (1920-2000);
John Stroud (1923-89);
Clare Winnicott (1906-84);
Peter Townsend (1928-2009);
Bob Holman (1936- ): A child care participant living through the changes;
Past, present and future.