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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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The reform of child and family social work

The reform of child and family social work

(p.149) 9 The reform of child and family social work
The Politics of Children's Services Reform

Carl Purcell

Policy Press

This chapter discusses the development of the Coalition and Conservative Governments’ reform programme for child and family social work. Initially, the new Conservative children’s minister Tim Loughton sought to build on the work of the profession led Social Work Task Force (discussed in chapter 7), belatedly set-up under Labour after the Baby P case. This included the commissioning of the Munro Review of child protection. However, after two years Loughton was replaced as children’s minister and the Secretary of State Michael Gove initiated a new, more centrally driven, reform programme. Key policy developments included the reform of social work training, regulation and a new national ‘learning infrastructure’. Controversial plans to promote the increased outsourcing of child protection services to the private and voluntary sector were also pursued in the face of strong opposition from social work representatives.

Keywords:   Child and family social work, Social Work Taskforce, Munro Review, Outsourcing

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