Barbara Kahan, 1920–2000

Bob Holman

in Champions for children

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9781861343536
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301653 | DOI:
Barbara Kahan, 1920–2000

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Barbara Kahan spent a long time in the world of child welfare. Her professional lifespan coincided with many major developments for disadvantaged and deprived children. As a local authority practitioner, senior civil servant, writer, and campaigner, Kahan was always at the forefront. She won a state scholarship to the University of Cambridge in 1939, a development that changed her life. In 1943, Kahan was assigned as a government inspector of factories in the Midlands. From newspapers, she learnt about the campaign of Lady Allen of Hurtwood to improve the lives of deprived children. Kahan read and wept over the Curtis Report. She was determined to work among such children and applied for the newly created post of children's officer for Dudley. By the late 1960s, Kahan was a national figure within child-care circles. She played important roles in a committee chaired by Frederic Seebohm to consider what changes were necessary to ensure an effective family service, and in the passage of the Local Authority Social Services Act of 1970.

Keywords: Barbara Kahan; child welfare; child care; Dudley; Curtis Report; Frederic Seebohm; Social Services Act; University of Cambridge; deprived children

Chapter.  10734 words.  Illustrated.

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