This book offers an authoritative overview of child care policy and practice in the UK. It covers assessment and family support services, understanding child maltreatment and protection, the care of looked after children, including the contribution of adoption, foster, and residential care, services for those leaving care and barriers facing disabled children and their families.
The book reflects the complexity and contested nature of children's needs, rights, and interests and relationships between family and state. It analyzes relevant debates and research and highlights practice issues and dilemmas. Readers are also directed to sources of further information on topics they may wish to explore in more depth. At the end of each chapter, there is guidance for further reading, resources for practice and questions for discussion.
The book is aimed at social work practitioners and professionals working with children and families as well as undergraduate students in childhood studies or social policy.
Chapter 3: Services for Children in Need: Prevention and Family Support
Services for Children in Need: Prevention and Family Support
In this chapter, following a short historical introduction, we will explore the meanings of prevention and family support, the ‘philosophies’ that underpin them and their practical manifestations in services for children in need. This will be followed by more detailed discussion of four key areas – short breaks, family centres, family group conferences (FGCs) and provision for ‘young carers’.
Mapping the respective terrains of ‘prevention’ and ‘family support’ is challenging but at their heart lie ideas of helping families in their childrearing and avoiding the need for more coercive measures such as the removal of children. In that sense, they have an obvious affinity with Fox Harding's ‘modern defence’ ...