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The Politics of Children's Services ReformRe-examining Two Decades of Policy Change$
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Carl Purcell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348764

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348764.001.0001

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Every Child Matters and the Children Act 2004

Every Child Matters and the Children Act 2004

Chapter:
(p.61) 4 Every Child Matters and the Children Act 2004
Source:
The Politics of Children's Services Reform
Author(s):

Carl Purcell

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447348764.003.0005

This chapter highlights the political drivers of Labour’s structural reforms to English local government through an examination of the Every Child Matters Green Paper and the subsequent passage of the Children Act 2004. It is argued that the initiation of the Green Paper chaired by Paul Boateng, then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was not a response to the Victoria Climbié Inquiry. Safeguarding and child protection policies did not receive the explicit prioritisation that Lord Laming had called for. Labour’s structural reforms were designed to address concerns relating to the delivery of a broader range of policy priorities incorporating health, education and crime and anti-social behaviour. Moreover, social services and social work were largely overlooked under the new structural arrangements with the focus being primarily on the early intervention and preventative responsibilities of universal services including schools and health service providers. The chapter also discusses the involvement of children’s sector NGOs in the development of Labour’s reforms and how opposition to structural reform was ultimately ignored.

Keywords:   Every Child Matters, Children Act 2004, Victoria Climbié Inquiry, Child protection, Social services, Social work, Children’s services, Children’s trusts, Early intervention, NGOs

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