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Babies and Young Children in Care: Life Pathways, Decision-Making and Practice (Child Welfare Outcomes) Hardcover – 8 Feb 2006


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It was with a painful sense of deja vu that I read this account of the lives of 42 babies placed in local authority care. Painful, because it has too many uncomfortable echoes of Rowe's and Lambert's study, Children Who Wait, which back in 1973 exposed the scandal of far too many children being "warehoused" without plans. Those earlier children mostly stayed in one place in a climate of very little activity, whereas the babies in this study have all too often experience multiple moves and been subject to frequent court hearings - all the unintended consequences of the Children Act 1989, which was intended to avoid delay yet has seen it increase each year since its passing. This highly readable study draws on research to illuminate particular cases, the accounts of which flesh out in a very practical way the theoretical underpinnings. -- YoungMinds 'The strength of this book lies in the careful description of the lives of the children in the sample. Extensive use of individual case reports, supported with comment from those responsible for the care of the child, illustrates for the novice reader the complexity of the decisions made on behalf of the children and the input from different agencies at different points. The role of siblings and extended families, the particular considerations for children of dual heritage in placements and stability and suitability in foster placements are all introduced through the stories of particular children. The poignant description of the children's lives makes the contents of this book accessible and brings the complex issues surrounding best-interested judgements to the fore.' -- Children and Society 'Written in relatively jargon free prose, providing case studies and qualitative analysis supported by quantitative statistical data, this book will be useful for all those required to demonstrate informed evidence-based practice...The authors identify difficulties in both inter-departmental and inter-agency collaboration in providing appropriate resources and services to facilitate positive and timely interventions. It will, therefore, be particularly informative for students and qualified practitioners in health and social work, those studying for post-qualifying awards and their managers.' -- Professional Social Work Social workers in childcare teams and their managers, children's guardians and workers in adoption and fostering teams could all find this book thought provoking and useful. -- Adoption & fostering This book provides a timely reminder of the importance of attachment for babies and young children and complex decisions that social workers have to make on a daily basis... I would recommend the text to fieldwork, fostering and adoption social workers and students as well as other professional involved in the lives of young looked-after children. -- Children Now The work is easy to read with case examples that underscore the complex circumstances of the families whose babies are admitted to care. The structure of the book works well with useful conclusions and points for practice at the end of each chapter. This will be helpful to busy professionals who can dip in and out and find relevant material under the various headings. -- Foster Care An excellent combination of solid academic study, and a very readable, anecdotal analysis of practice issues. -- Community Care An in-depth look at the most vulnerable group within children's services - babies and young children in care. It examines why babies enter care or accommodation and why it can be difficult to secure their long term future. There are interviews with birth parents, carers and social care professionals which, form part of an analysis that highlights the detrimental effect changes of placement and carer can have. What makes this a compelling read are the messages that the authors signpost for practice... I'd recommend it to practitioners, policy makers and social care managers in children's and services alike. -- Sure Start

About the Author

Harriet Ward is Director of the Centre for Child and Family Research (CCFR) and Professor of Child and Family Research at Loughborough University. She has undertaken extensive research in the field of assessing need and evaluating outcomes in children's services. She is co-editor of Approaches to Needs Assessment in Children's Services and Safeguarding and Promoting the Well-being of Children, Families and Communities, also published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, and is series editor of the Child Welfare Outcomes series. Emily R. Munro is a researcher at the CCFR and currently engaged in research on outcomes for very young children in need or at risk of significant harm. Her other research interests include transitions to adulthood, comparative social policy and youth justice. Chris Dearden is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University. She has undertaken extensive research on young carers, and is currently engaged in research on children's perspectives on poverty.

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