This collection of 12 new and revised essays on child care and children’s services, written by leading child welfare historian Roy Parker, draws on his lifetime of research in this area.
By exploring various topics these essays explain significant political, economic, legal and ideological aspects of this history from the mid-1850s. This unique and lasting review of child care services allows readers to understand how the services for some of society’s most vulnerable children have become what they are, how well they have met and now meet the needs of those children.
The collection provides a high-quality, historical reference resource that will inform and capture the interest of social work and social policy students as well as social and legal historians, political scientists and those involved in administration and government, struggling with the issues of the day.
"This is a book that should be read by every serious researcher, policy maker, manager and senior practitioner in children's services." Research, Policy and Planning
"Highly recommended... enables the reader to engage with the text and its multiple use of statistics in a manner that does not hamper the reader's understanding." Child Care in Practice
"Roy's book is to be commended to anyone who wants to think about child care services, whether they are politicians, professionals or academics to that they may learn from the past and from identifying trends, underlying themes and potential pitfalls, when putting together new approaches." The Therapeutic Care Journal
“This is an incisive, scholarly, and elegantly written book, relevant to the future as to the past. I know no one else who could have written it.” Ian Sinclair, University of York
“In this unique historical overview, Roy Parker brings life-long scholarship to an analysis of the changing problems facing disadvantaged children in Britain. Continuities and discontinuities, conflicts and resolutions are carefully considered in this exceptionally thoughtful and fascinating compendium.” Roger Bullock, Emeritus Professor of Child Welfare Research, University of Bristol, Former Director, Dartington Social Research Unit
Roy Parker is professor emeritus of social policy at the University of Bristol. Formerly he taught at the LSE. He has a longstanding interest in the history and politics of social policy and the plight of disadvantaged children. His last book Uprooted (Policy Press, 2008) traced the history of child emigration to Canada. Before his academic career he worked as a child care officer and in residential care.
Introduction: Patterns of change and continuity;
Residential child care: an historical perspective;
From boarding-out to foster care;
The evolution of landmark legislation;
Getting started with the Children Act 1948: what do we learn?;
Child care in the melting pot in the 1980s;
Trends, transitions and tensions: children’s services since the 1980s;
Reflections on the assessment of outcomes in child care;
The role and function of inquiries;
Evidence, values, judgement and engagement;
Emerging issues: looking ahead.