Developing Good Practice in Children’s Services

Edited by Vicky White and John Harris, Jessica

ISBN 1843101505, £16.95


This book contains chapters by several authors, most of them
working with Warwickshire social services. It offers the
opportunity to learn from good practice in a three-star council,
writes Anne Burnage.

Unfortunately, the quality of the contributions is variable. Simon
Lord’s chapter on strategic development, for example, is alarmingly
uncritical. I cannot imagine many social workers agreeing with his
view that completely restructuring the department three times in 10
years is a mark of good practice.

Andrew Durham’s chapter on working with young people with sexual
behavioural difficulties is based on one very narrow interpretation
of such problems and fails to take into account other

On the other hand Ann Seal’s description of a programme to help
children learn to keep themselves safe describes a useful and
interesting experiment that is honestly evaluated. Likewise Rebecca
Johnson and Phil Sawbridge’s discussion of matching needs and
services in family placement is a thoughtful analysis of a complex

So, a book that is good in parts but perhaps not the highest
priority for those with £16.95 to spend.

Anne Burnage is deputy director of the Catholic Children’s

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