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Change and continuity in children's services$
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Roy Parker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447322221

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447322221.001.0001

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The evolution of landmark legislation*

The evolution of landmark legislation*

(p.55) Chapter 4 The evolution of landmark legislation*
Change and continuity in children's services

Roy Parker

Policy Press

The Children Acts of 1908, 1948 and 1989 are used to explore the political processes that lead to the framing and the introduction of significant new legislation. In the first of these evidence from the Boer War and from several committees of inquiry raised concern about the poor health of the rising generation, prompting other questions about the State’s responsibility for children’s well-being, questions pursued by the Liberal government elected in 1906. The 1948 Act was largely the consequence of the dismantling of the poor law and its replacement by the social security and health reforms of the post-war welfare state, reforms that followed from the exigencies of war. The third of these acts owed much to the rediscovery of child abuse, to concern about the complicated array of child legislation and to the quest for a simplification of court procedures. The chapter ends by considering how far general conclusions can be reached about the processes of reform in the light of these three legislative histories.

Keywords:   1908, 1948, 1989, legislation, history, politics, assessment

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