The book ends by embarking upon the hazardous business of predicting some of the main features of the children’s services in the future: the problems; the new priorities and the emerging policies. It also considers what might remain largely unchanged. It does this in three ways: by noting today’s clearly discernible trends, taking as an example the rapidly developing use of private agencies; by extrapolating from past trends, using as illustration patterns of ethnicity and culture, disability and gender differences and, thirdly, by considering how far longstanding problems are likely to be resolved or ameliorated and employing the quest for prevention as an exploratory example. In particular, attention is paid to those issues that hitherto have been overlooked or (for whatever reason) largely ignored. However, the overall conclusion is rather optimistic, especially in the light of what has been achieved over the last 150 years or so.
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