Parton, Nigel and Williams, Sasha (2017) The contemporary refocusing of children's services in England. Journal of Children's Services, 12 (2/3). pp. 85-96. ISSN 1746-6660

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the changes in child protection policy and practice in England over the last 30 years, in particular to critically analyse the nature and impact of the “refocusing” initiative of the mid-1990s.

Policy analysis.

While the period from the mid-1990s until 2008 can be seen to show how policy and practice attempted to build on a number of the central principles of the “refocusing” initiative, the period since 2008 has been very different. Following the huge social reaction to the death of Peter Connelly, policy and practice moved in directions quite contra to the “refocusing” initiative’s aims and aspirations such that we can identify a refocusing of “refocusing”. Such developments were given a major impetus with the election of the Coalition government in 2010 and have been reinforced further following the election of the Conservative government in May 2015.

The paper places the changes in child protection policy and practice in England in their political and economic contexts and makes explicit how the changes impact on the role and responsibilities of professionals, particularly social workers.

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