New Categories: New Resources, New Solutions

  • R. A. Parker
Part of the National Children’s Bureau Series book series


There is a complicated variety of services for separated children. So much so that some would deny that a set of children’s services with any unifying features actually exists; especially since the disappearance of the former children’s departments. Yet the difficulties in discerning the precise boundaries of the ‘child care system’ may well be a mark of progress. We take this view because we believe that the problems which give rise to the long-term separation of children are usually complex. In turn, they require complicated solutions, many of which can only be found in a combination of responses from different individuals and organisations. Indeed, we are tempted to conclude that one of the impediments to better services is undue simplification. This appears in many guises, but especially in the kinds of categories commonly employed in this field. Social and administrative categories are, of course, necessary, and we have already argued for improved forms of classification. But when these categories are few in number, and when they are conceived as mutually exclusive, we are in danger of thinking too narrowly and too rigidly. This is liable to obscure the actual needs of children and their families and to lead to an inflexible use of available resources.


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Notes References

  1. 1.
    For a good general discussion see R. Moroney, The Family and the State, (Longman, 1976) pp. 117–25.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. Ferri with R. Niblett, Disadvantaged Families and Playgroups (NFER, 1977).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See P. Wedge and H. Prosser, Born to Fail? (Arrow Books, 1973) or H. Land, Large Families in London (Bell, 1969).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See DHSS, Health and Personal Social Services Statistics for England (1974).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    R. Page and G. A. Clark (eds), Who Cares? (National Children’s Bureau, 1977).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    R. M. Titmuss, The Gift Relationship (Allen and Unwin, 1970).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    DHSS, Intermediate Treatment Project: Development Group Report (1973) p. 15.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    For various accounts and other commentaries see DHSS, Intermediate Treatment (1972);Google Scholar
  9. A. Leissner, T. Powley and D. Evans, Intermediate Treatment: An Action Research Report (National Children’s Bureau, 1977); and Personal Social Services Council, A Future for Intermediate Treatment (1977).Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    See J. Tizard, I. Sinclair and R. V. Clarke (eds), Varieties of Residential Experience (Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975).Google Scholar
  11. 12.
    B. Tizard, O. Cooperman, A. Joseph and J. Tizard, ‘Environmental Effects in Language Development: a Study of Children in Long-stay Residential Nurseries’, Child Development, xliii (1972) 337–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 13.
    For example R. Dinnage and M. Kellmer Pringle, Foster Home Care — Facts and Fallacies (Longman, 1967);Google Scholar
  13. H. Prosser, Perspectives on Foster Care (NFER, 1978); R. Dinnage and M. Kellmer Pringle, Residential Child Care — Facts and Fallacies; and H. Prosser, Perspec-tives on Residential Child Care (NFER. 1976).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    DHSS, Foster Care: A Guide to Practice. See also M. Kellmer Pringle and S. Naidoo, Early Child Care in Britain (Gordon and Breach, 1975).Google Scholar
  15. 17.
    DHSS, Children in Care of Local Authorities in England and Wales (1976) HC 506, p. f14.Google Scholar
  16. 18.
    See A. Glampson, T. Scott and D. N. Thomas, A Guide to the Assessment of Community Needs and Resources (National Institute for Social Work, 1975).Google Scholar
  17. 19.
    S. Jackson, ‘A New Policy for Childminders’, Social Work Today, viii, 13 (January 1978) 19–20.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© National Children’s Bureau 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. A. Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Administration, School of Applied Social StudiesUniversity of BristolUK

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