Chapter

Modernising children's services: partnership and participation in policy and practice

Katrin Bain

in Modernising social work

Published by Policy Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9781847420060
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302827 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847420060.003.0006
Modernising children's services: partnership and participation in policy and practice

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After its landslide victory in the 1997 general election, the New Labour government published a series of White Papers, Green Papers, and reports setting out its agenda to modernise government and public services in the United Kingdom. The agenda was rooted in the redefinition of the relationship between the state and citizens: ‘At the heart of the modern welfare state will be a new contract between the citizen and the government, based on responsibilities and rights’. This chapter explores the content and implementation of the modernisation agenda's new contract between citizens – in this case parents – and the state in children and families social services. It first presents an overview of children's services, including recent policy developments, and then looks at three approaches to parental involvement: working in partnership with parents, parental participation, and consumerist citizen involvement. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the possibilities and limitations of each approach, especially in the light of the restructuring of children's services following the 2004 Children Act.

Keywords: New Labour; United Kingdom; modernisation; parents; children; families; social services; children's services; partnership; citizens

Chapter.  7122 words.  Illustrated.

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