Designed to meet a range of day care needs for individuals, families or wider communities, Family Centres are central to the government's provision of effective child care services. The study of family centres - monitoring their objectives, examining key challenges faced and evaluating approaches to practice - is fundamental to the delivery of effective, evidence-based services. This book details and evaluates expert research into the developing role of family centres in the light of current political and social trends including, the Every Child Matters legislation. It outlines the different user groups serviced by family centres; the various combinations of services provided and the contribution that these are making to positive outcomes for children; major tasks facing family centres such as optimising access to services; and important partnerships between family centres and other services such as education and health care. Based on the evidence, the authors highlight key messages for future development.
A vital addition to the literature on child care services, Improving Children's Services Networks is essential reading for social care practitioners and students, government policy makers and planners.
Professor Jane Tunstill is Visiting Professor of Social Work at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit of Kings College, London, and Director of the Implementation Module of the DfES commissioned National Evaluation of Sure Start. Jane Aldgate OBE is Professor Emerita at the Open University and Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Marilyn Hughes was formerly a Senior Research Officer at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Acknowledgements. 1. Introduction. 2. The Current Agenda for Children and Family Services. 3. Building Links and Partnerships with Other Agencies. 4. Family Centres and Social Services: Tensions and Opportunities. 5. Delivering Services: The Experience of Family Centres. 6. Centres as a Gateway to Other Services: The Experience of Family Centres. 7. The Importance of Centre Managers and Staff. 8. Parents' Perspectives on Family Centres. 9. Family Centres in Transition. Family Centres: An Afterword. Appendix: The Design, Collection and Analysis of the Data. References. Index.
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