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Children, families and social exclusion

Children, families and social exclusion: New approaches to prevention

Kate Morris
Marian Barnes
Paul Mason
Copyright Date: 2009
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  • Book Info
    Children, families and social exclusion
    Book Description:

    Many policy and practice initiatives that aim to prevent social exclusion focus on children and young people. This book seeks to consider new approaches to understanding the complexities of prevention, and how these new understandings can inform policy and practice. The authors use evidence from the National Evaluation of the Children's Fund to illustrate and explore the experiences of children and families who are most marginalised. They consider the historical context of approaches to child welfare, and present a new framework for understanding and developing preventative polices and practice within the context of social exclusion. Preventative initiatives such as the Children's Fund have supported large-scale complex evaluations that have generated rich and important data about strategies for addressing social exclusion and what they can achieve. The findings of this book have direct relevance for all those engaged in developing preventative policy and practice and will therefore be of interest to policy makers, practitioners and students of child welfare and social policy more broadly, in providing a timely discussion of key debates in designing, delivering and commissioning preventative services.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-444-0
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. iv-iv)
  4. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    This book seeks to explore the new understandings that are necessary for preventative policy and practice in child welfare in the changing UK policy context. The discussion and analysis draw on empirical data from the National Evaluation of the Children’s Fund (NCF). But our aim here is not simply to report the results of that evaluation – we have done that elsewhere (Barnes et al, 2006a; Beirens et al, 2006; Edwards et al, 2006; Hughes and Fielding, 2006; Mason et al, 2006; Morris et al, 2006; Prior et al, 2006). In this book we are seeking to understand the Children’s...

  5. TWO Social exclusion, child welfare and well-being
    (pp. 5-28)

    In this book we consider policies implemented by different New Labour governments that were intended to address the ‘problem’ of social exclusion among children and young people. In particular, we consider the experiences of the Children’s Fund in this regard. So, what is ‘social exclusion’ and how does it affect children and young people? The adoption of a social exclusion perspective by New Labour in its early years of government reflected the aspirations for social change of a new government following long years of Conservative rule. Under the headline ‘Social exclusion is about more than income poverty’, the definition adopted...

  6. THREE Contemporary issues for preventative child welfare
    (pp. 29-42)

    Social exclusion is a comparatively recent way of understanding the needs and experiences of children who are in various ways disadvantaged and, as we have seen, it is a perspective that has generated considerable controversy. However, the history of child and family policies demonstrates that controversy about the basis on which interventions and support should be provided is not new and has accompanied most attempts to develop policy and practice concerned with children’s welfare and well-being. Given the inherent tensions between public matters and private lives, policy and practice responses to the needs of children and families have inevitably drawn...

  7. FOUR The development of preventative policy and practice: an overview
    (pp. 43-66)

    A focus on social exclusion as a consequence to be avoided has led to a rethinking of the ways in which policies should be focused. The emphasis has shifted towardspreventingharms arising, rather than adopting a primary focus of intervening once harms have become evident. This chapter describes this changing theoretical and policy approach to prevention in child welfare over the past four decades and sets these changes within the broader context of policy developments concerned with social exclusion and poor outcomes for children. Historically, policy understandings of prevention have drawn on service-led and needs-led models of prevention. These...

  8. FIVE The Children’s Fund: strategies for social inclusion
    (pp. 67-84)

    The Guidance issued by the Children and Young People’s Unit (CYPU) to partnerships established to deliver the Children’s Fund objectives (CYPU, 2001b) directed attention to ‘those children, young people and families most at risk of social exclusion through poverty and disadvantage’, providing ‘joined-up support’ to address ‘often multifaceted problems’. It was up to local Children’s Fund partnerships to determine which children and families in their areas should be targeted (Hughes and Fielding, 2006), but the assumption underpinning the initiative that was implemented in every local authority in England was that the risk of social exclusion was not one that was...

  9. SIX The Children’s Fund: activities and impacts of the partnership strategies
    (pp. 85-110)

    In Chapter Five we saw how partnerships targeted different groups for preventative services and action. Target groups may have had the same labels, but how they were defined and the needs that were identified were varied. The lack of centralised prescription as to how preventative strategies might be designed created a situation in which each Children’s Fund partnership could invent its own approach. Local targeting required locally appropriate strategies and thus local context was key to the way in which strengths, needs and opportunities were identified and activities and services were commissioned. Potentially, this enabled innovation and experimentation both in...

  10. SEVEN New understandings for prevention
    (pp. 111-128)

    In this book we have explored the way in which policies for children and families in the UK have evolved, considered key concepts that have undermined these developments – in particular social exclusion and prevention – and examined in more detail the implementation of one such policy – the Children’s Fund. This chapter begins by drawing together the evidence described in the preceding chapter with the framework of the dimensions of social exclusion set out in Chapter Two, and reflects on what this suggests for an overall analysis of the impact of the Children’s Fund in this context. As Chapter...

  11. EIGHT Conclusion: effective preventative approaches
    (pp. 129-144)

    In this final chapter we draw together the analysis of the changing policy environment for prevention with our analysis emerging from the empirical data generated by the National Evaluation of the Children’s Fund (NECF) to arrive at some suggestions as to how effective preventative policies and practices could be developed in the future. We begin by reviewing the key themes emerging from the previous chapters, and then consider the implications of these for conceptualising prevention. We go on to rehearse the domains that theory and evidence suggest we need to consider if preventative approaches are to be effective. We conclude...

  12. References
    (pp. 145-156)
  13. Index
    (pp. 157-164)