Journal Article

How to be Modern: New Labour’s Neoliberal Modernity and the <i>Change for Children</i> programme

Paul Michael Garrett

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 38, issue 2, pages 270-289
Published in print February 2008 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
How to be Modern: New Labour’s Neoliberal Modernity and the Change for Children programme

Show Summary Details


In England the New Labour administration is seeking to embed a ‘transformational reform agenda’ within children’s service. Social workers, among others appear, however, to be wary of the agenda which is now rhetorically rooted in the Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme (CfC). The main social work practice elements of this programme are associated with the introduction of a Children’s Index, a multidisciplinary Common Assessment Framework and the role of Lead Professional. In terms of the promotion of this programme, the government has maintained that the focal aim is to create a ‘modern’ children’s workforce. However, the entire ‘transformational agenda’ can be interpreted as reflecting New Labour’s neoliberal modernity. This is particularly apparent in the terms of the ideas associated with ‘flexibility’ which are so central to the CfC programme.

Keywords: children’s services; common language; flexibility; resistance

Journal Article.  9553 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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