on 2 June 2009
If like me, you are an undergraduate dyslexic student studying a social work degree and are finding the law side to it a bit daunting to get to grips with, then this book is perfect for you.It breaks laws and Acts down into smaller readable sections .I struggle with complex, heavy reading which can often be found in books on Law and find it too difficult to digest. The Making Sense of the Children Act 1989,goes a long way to help with providing smaller and straight to the point little 'chunks' of information.This edition provides all relevant and recent developments such as The Adoption and Children Act 2002, The laming Report which resulted from the Victoria Climbie'case, and step by step, indepth information concerning everything to do with court procedures, who is involved, and how long each procedure is.What can often be a difficult and dare I say it..boring subject, Allens 4th Edition makes reading around the Children Act interesting, easier and a must have for students or practitioners in the social care world.
on 25 May 2002
I bought this book when our children were taken into care for "risk of neglect". We felt that the social services were acting overzealously and in infringement of our human rights.
This book sets out very clearly how the law has been revised, explains key sections and their interpretations, and provides examples of individual cases and comments on them.
It also highlights fundamental weaknesses in the law, the very weaknesses that give local authorities and child protection agencies almost unlimited power over families.
I would have liked the book to have addressed miscarriages of justice in some greater depth, but then that's because of our personal need to understand our own situation.
I also may perhaps have misread some of the interpretations, particularly with regards to the Threshold Criteria for example. The book explains precisely how these may be met. But the wording of the law is somewhat imprecise, depending on the meaning of words such as "signficant" and "normal". In our experience, we have discovered that, in practice, the law is so stacked against families, that the mere suggestion of concern by 'professionals' is sufficient to grant or renew care orders, and that it is up to us to demonstrate our innocence or competence as parents beyond a reasonable doubt.
The book hints at this, but not strongly enough in my opinion.
In other respects, the book is comprehensive, covering Parental Repsonsibility, Court Orders, Local Authority Support, Accommodation for Children, Compulsory Powers, Protection Orders, Police Powers, Care and Supervision Orders, Appeals, Welfare Reports and Guardians Ad Litem, Adoption, Foster Care, etc. It also has an excellent index.
I considered giving it only 4 stars, but because it explains the law and its practice in a fairly detached and objective way, it deserves the rating.
Another book will be required to deal specifically with the failings of the law (or more accurately, problems of attitude and tolerance in our society and perpetrated by child care professionals).
Perhaps I'll have to write it myself.