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Challenging the Politics of Early InterventionWho's 'saving' Children and Why$
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Val Gillies, Rosalind Edwards, and Nicola Horsley

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447324096

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447324096.001.0001

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Saving children

Saving children

(p.115) Six Saving children
Challenging the Politics of Early Intervention

Val Gillies

Rosalind Edwards

Nicola Horsley

Policy Press

This chapter explores how brain science and neoliberal ideas infuse and shape the understandings and practices of those working in the early years field. It considers the evangelical mission that they believe guides their work, which is to save children from the perils and consequences of inadequate parenting. It is brain science discourse that provides practitioners with what they regard as the unchallengeable ‘truth’, made visual through brain scans, which justifies their interventions and the ways that they intervene in parenting. Underlying practitioners' enthusiasm about saving children are ideas about optimising both children and mothers, and notions of intergenerational cycles of deprivations that reproduce low attachment and deficit parenting in families and localities.

Keywords:   brain science, neoliberal ideas, evangelical mission, brain scans, parenting, deprivations, children

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