‘An ambience of uneasiness’:

Ian Butler and Mark Drakeford

in Scandal, social policy and social welfare

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9781861347466
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303312 | DOI:
‘An ambience of uneasiness’:

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Sir William Utting, in his ‘special review’ of residential care for children, asked himself two very particular questions: ‘Is there any point in persevering with residential care?’ and ‘Can it be revived?’ Utting's review had been commissioned as a direct result of ‘public concern about standards and practices in residential child care’ following publication of The Pindown experience and the protection of children: The Report of the Staffordshire Child Care Inquiry. This chapter describes the policy and practice context in which Utting's questions came to be asked in the first place. It argues that despite the long history of residential care in Britain, such fundamental questions have been asked many times in the past. In fact, in one form or another, they have been raised at almost every point of transition between successive welfare ideologies and practices. The chapter locates the administrative history of residential care for children in the same policy context as that in which social-work practice more generally has developed.

Keywords: William Utting; residential child care; children; Britain; welfare; social work; administrative history

Chapter.  10153 words. 

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