Contemporary issues for preventative child welfare

Kate Morris, Marian Barnes and Paul Mason

in Children, families and social exclusion

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9781861349668
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301806 | DOI:
Contemporary issues for preventative child welfare

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In the United Kingdom, parenting had historically been seen to be the focus of state interventions to ensure the well being of children. New Labour introduced a range of initiatives designed to support, educate, or police parents. An example was Sure Start, which provided services rooted in understandings about the impact of early intervention on parenting and consequently on children's trajectories. Another example was the ‘Respect’ initiative, launched in 2004 in response to troublesome children, adults, and families, which set out a new approach to tackling problem families through intensive family-intervention programmes and introduced a wide-ranging programme to address poor parenting. This chapter examines the way in which thinking about child welfare has developed and how different concepts have come to shape the discourses within which specific policies are framed. In particular, it considers ideas of risk and protection, the emergence of children, families and social exclusion, ‘parenting’ as a particular focus for policy action, and the enduring but shifting significance of ideas about ‘family’.

Keywords: United Kingdom; child welfare; parenting; New Labour; Sure Start; Respect; problem families; risk; protection; social exclusion

Chapter.  4835 words. 

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