Children and Communities

Edited by Paul Henderson.

Pluto Press in association with the Community Development
Foundation and the Children’s Society

£40 (hardback) £12.95 (paperback)

ISBN 0 7453 0798 1 (hardback)

0 7453 0799 X (paperback)

The Community Deve lopment Foundation, the Children’s Society
and the Gulbenkian Foundation have played major parts in promoting
community work. Appropriately, they have now co-operated in a
volume which concentrates on children and communities.

The editor, Paul Hender-son, points out that children’s rights
are neglected in Britain and their influence is small in what goes
on in their neighbourhoods. Com munities and neighbourhoods are
vital to all children but especially to those who have social
deprivations forced on them.

Children live, learn and play in neighbourhood settings and they
are upheld or oppressed by community life. Accordingly, the ten
chapters examine a number of projects which take children into
consideration within the four spheres of care and protection,
environment, education and neighbourhood activities.

Members of West Leeds Family Service Unit describe how they
adopted a preventive approach to protect children. In Leicester,
Kathy Green shows how children’s views were taken seriously in a
traffic calming scheme.

Joe Hasler clarifies the different approaches used by projects
in regard to children and then argues ‘in favour of a needs
approach to working with children as opposed to the children’s
right to choose’.

Two matters deserve more consideration. One concerns whether
staff should live in the neighbourhoods where they work. The other
is the duration to which they commit themselves.

Noticeably, the headmaster, who explains the impressive
community links made by his school, admits that they waned once he
left. But whether the staff of local projects can stay depends on
whether finance is available.

Stable community projects cry out for a national strategy to
fund them properly.

Bob Holman’s latest book, Evacuation: A Very British
Revolution will be published in April by Lion

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