Changing Children’s Services: working and learning together

Changing Children’s Services: working and learning together


Edited by Pam Foley and Andy Rixon, Open University/Policy Press, ISBN 9781847420602

As children’s services undergo further change this is a timely book, the third in the Working Together for Children series, writes Steve Rogowski. It is well-designed, illustrative, clear and easy to read.

Seven chapters deal with issues such as integrated working, policy into practice and learning together. For me a highlight was Rixon’s chapter on working with change which deals with New Labour’s apparent mantra of continuous change as far as public services are concerned. The negative effects this can have and ways of reacting and resisting are all covered.

The chapter on parenting points out that it is almost as if any social problem – poverty, crime, drug and alcohol use, mental health – could simply be remedied by improving parenting skills. This view, of course, neglects the structural factors associated with such issues.

Another chapter features professionals’ views on working with children, although the views of social workers were conspicuous by their absence. There could have been more on the influence of managerialism in social work.

Despite the caveats, the book was enjoyable and should become a standard text.

Steve Rogowski, social worker (children and families) with a local authority in north west England

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