Family centres: protection and promotion at the heart of the Children Act 1989

Christopher Warren-Adamson, A. Lightburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Abstract 1: The special significance of family centres in the United Kingdom as a mirror of new possibilities for child welfare in the years following the Children Act 1989 are highlighted. The Act sanctioned local authorities in England and Wales to provide family centres for families of children in need as well as neighbourhood families, reflecting a UK family centre movement that emerged in the mid-1970s and gathered strength in the 1980s and 1990s. Family centres ultimately merged with the children’s centre movement. The article, describing the evolution of family centres, reveals a strong underpinning of family-centred, centre-based activity internationally, and shows practice combining intervention from the sophisticated to the very informal. In ending, the article focuses on ‘integrated centres’ as complex systems of care with wide implications for practice and outcome evaluation in an ‘evidence-based’ context. Abstract 2: This article reflects on the significance of family centres in the UK as a mirror of new possibilities for child welfare in the year following the Children Act 1989. The Act empowered local authorities in England and Wales to provide family centres as part of 'family support practice'. The article reveals a rich vein of family-centred, centre-based activity internationally and shows practice combining intervention from the sophisticated to the very informal. The authors focus on so-called 'integrated centres' as complex systems of care with wide implications for practice and outcome evaluation in an 'evidence-based' context
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Children's Services
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010

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