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Scandal, social policy and social welfare2nd, Rev. Ed$
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Ian Butler

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9781861347466

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861347466.001.0001

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‘An ambience of uneasiness’:

‘An ambience of uneasiness’:

The residential care of children, 1834–1990

(p.169) eight ‘An ambience of uneasiness’:
Scandal, social policy and social welfare

Ian Butler

Mark Drakeford

Policy Press

Sir William Utting, in his ‘special review’ of residential care for children, asked himself two very particular questions: ‘Is there any point in persevering with residential care?’ and ‘Can it be revived?’ Utting's review had been commissioned as a direct result of ‘public concern about standards and practices in residential child care’ following publication of The Pindown experience and the protection of children: The Report of the Staffordshire Child Care Inquiry. This chapter describes the policy and practice context in which Utting's questions came to be asked in the first place. It argues that despite the long history of residential care in Britain, such fundamental questions have been asked many times in the past. In fact, in one form or another, they have been raised at almost every point of transition between successive welfare ideologies and practices. The chapter locates the administrative history of residential care for children in the same policy context as that in which social-work practice more generally has developed.

Keywords:   William Utting, residential child care, children, Britain, welfare, social work, administrative history

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