Children and child welfare sit at the heart of New Labour's plans for social inclusion - but how does the government view 'children' - is it reflecting public opinion, or leading it? How does New Labour perceive 'child welfare'? What are the motivations behind, and objectives of, current social policy for children? Are the 'Rights of the Child' being subsumed under 'duties and responsibilities'? This revisionist account provides critical answers to these questions within a historical framework and from a child-centred perspective.
The book not only offers a provocative account of contemporary policies and the ideological thrust behind them, but also provides an informed historical perspective on the evolution of child welfare during the last century.
Harry Hendrick is a social historian teaching in the Institute of History at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense. He is the editor of Child welfare and social policy: An essential reader (The Policy Press, 2005).
Contents: Child welfare: ways of seeing; The narrative of bodies/minds: bodies; The narrative of bodies/minds: minds (and bodies); The narrative of victims/threats; The relationship between bodies/minds and victims/threats; Normal/abnormal; Children as the future; Providing for the 'children of the nation', 1880s-1918; The background; The Child Study Movement; Child cruelty and the NSPCC; The age of consent and punishment of incest; Children in care: the Poor Law, voluntary societies and child emigration; The blind, the deaf and the 'feeble-minded', The Infant Welfare Movement; The School Meals Service; School medical inspection and treatment; The 1908 Children Act; Child welfare in a period of economic and political crises, 1918-45; Nutrition; Medical treatment; The Child Guidance Movement; Changing perspectives on juvenile delinquency: the 1933 Children and Young Persons Act; The war years: evacuation, school meals, and health and welfare under the 1944 Education Act; Optimism and liberalism: children of the welfare state 1945-79; The Curtis Report, 1946; The 1948 Children Act; The 1948 Children Act, the family and the state; Deprivation and depravation: Ingleby and the family; The 1963 and 1969 Children and Young Person Acts; The 'family service' in the community, 1970-75; Fostering, adoption and the 1975 Children Act; The rediscovery of child abuse; The Conservative Age: liberal moments amid poverty, ill-health and punishment 1979-97; Health: increasing inequalities; Poverty: the worst in Europe?; Delinquency and justice: 'childhood in crisis'; Childcare policy, the 1989 Children Act and after; New Labour and child welfare: panopticism in the service of communitarianism; Introduction: the Third Way; Poverty: eradicating it; Education: 'education, education, education'; Delinquency: 'no more excuses'; New Labour and the post-modern child.