In care and after

Edited by Elane Chase, Antonia Simon and
Sonia Jackson
Published by Routledge
£21.99; ISBN: 0415352541


As a practitioner working with looked-after children, I found In Care and After a useful tool for updating child care professionals on key messages from research into the outcomes of this group of young people, writes Michael Owen.

The book will interest most practitioners, but would also benefi t social work and education students. By far the most interesting section of this book is chapter three, which looks at educational outcomes for looked-after children.

To the credit of the authors, they have critically evaluated the sources and drawn some conclusions based on their review of the available data. I also found it helpful that the conclusion to the chapter does not spell doom and gloom. The authors stress that data should not solely be taken from groups where there will inevitably be negative fi ndings as this only helps reinforce stereotypes and bias.

I found the book very detailed and a good read. The section on the educational needs of looked-after children is most uplifting, and I would strongly recommend other professionals who work with looked-after children to read it. This book is not too detailed to put off busy professionals with little time. It was a positive read that will fi ll practitioners with some cheer and hope.

Michael Owen is an assistant team manager of a looked-after children team in Kent

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