Book Review: The Pursuit of Permanence

The Pursuit of Permanence: A Study of the English Child Care System

Ian Sinclair, Claire Baker, Jenny Lee and Ian Gibbs

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

ISBN 978 1 84310 595 4

This is part of the series “Quality Matters in Children’s Services”, writes Greer Nicholson.

At times this is a tough read, with several charts that take time to interpret. The research was commissioned through the Quality Protects government programme and aims to incorporate Choice Protects and Every Child Matters.

Looking at every stage of the care process and at the people who become involved is worthwhile, but this book cannot decide if it is policy, academic or practical and thus feels confusing to read.

But the case studies are really good and do more than simply restate that abuse, domestic violence and substance abuse are the main catalysts for children to come to the attention of the care system. Details on a huge range of situations experienced by children are also presented well and allow the reader to dip in and out of the book.

Is there anything brand new for the experienced practitioner? Possibly not, but the range of data will prove useful. Councils vary significantly in their practice and the examples show good systems and how they are supported.

Greer Nicholson is commissioning manager for transport and concessionary travel in the London Borough of Newham

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