Journal Article

Objects of Concern: Caring for Children during Care Proceedings

Chris Beckett and Bridget McKeigue

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 7, pages 2086-2101
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Objects of Concern: Caring for Children during Care Proceedings

Show Summary Details


This article is the second to look at the fifty-nine children who were made subject to care proceedings in one local authority area in the financial year 2004–05. It focuses on what happened to children during the proceedings and considers how well those responsible for their care during this time (the local authority and others involved in the court process) performed in terms of providing the children with parental care during the process. While the local authority in question performed well in relative terms, nevertheless, in respect of the duration of the process and the number of placement moves to which children were subjected, many of the children were subjected to a great deal of bewildering change, complex routines and large numbers of adults going in and out of their lives. The authors suggest that the process will tend to objectify children if it becomes too focused on decision making for the future, at the expense of thinking about their needs in the here and now. We conclude with some suggestions as to possible ways of improving things.

Keywords: Care proceedings; looked after children; child-care planning; court delay

Journal Article.  6890 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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