Parton, Nigel (2008) Changing Notions of Risk in the Rationale for the Provision of Children’s Services in England: Towards the ‘Preventive- Surveillance’ State. In: First ISA Forum of Sociology Sociological Research and Public Debate, 5th - 8th September 2008, Barcelona, Spain. (Unpublished)

Recent years have witnessed major changes in the organisation of and rationale for children’s services in all advanced liberal societies. However, the changes in England are, perhaps, the most ambitious. Increasingly the emphasis is upon the importance of intervening early before problems & needs reach crisis proportions & insuring that information about children
and parents is shared amongst all agencies & professionals so that children do not fall through the ‘net’. No longer is the central focus simply concerned with children in serious danger or at risk of significant harm but
in trying to fulfill every child’s potential & targeting services in such a way that children’s welfare will be both safeguarded & promoted. This paper will analyse the changes currently taking place in England, the assumptions
underpinning them & the implications these have for the changing relationships between children, parents, professionals and the state. Particular
attention will be given to the changing role of social work & how different ideas about the notion of ‘risk’ can be seen to play a significant role in providing both the legitimating rationales & technologies for implementation in the new policy & practice landscapes.

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