Children's services in 2006

Harriet Churchill

in Social Policy Review 19

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349415
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303466 | DOI:
Children's services in 2006

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This chapter examines the rapidly unfolding story of children's services reform in the UK in 2006. Those working in children's services are responding to multiple drivers of change inhabiting a fast-moving policy landscape. Major reorganisation is under way in response to the 2004 Children Act that seeks comprehensive reform across the range of services for children aged 0–19 years and their families, and has been described as constituting ‘the most radical transformation [of children's services] since the 1948 Children Act’. The timing of such radical reform has been explained as the cumulative effect of huge concern over child protection failures, and ongoing policy agendas aiming to ‘modernise’ public services and reduce social exclusion. With imminent implementation targets and several new policy announcements in 2006, the chapter sets out to examine reform in two stages. First, it summarises the main tenets of the evolving national policy framework. Second, the chapter highlights five key implementation concerns: competing policy agendas, realising the outcome-led approach, accountability gaps, joining up services, and developing partnership working and resources and capabilities for implementation and development.

Keywords: children's services reform; social policy; 2004 Children Act; social exclusion; child protection; policy implementation

Chapter.  6850 words. 

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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