Parton, Nigel (2013) The contemporary politics of child protection in England: The emergence of the authoritarian neoliberal state. In: 13th ISPCAN European Regional Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, 15th – 18th of September 2013, Dublin, Ireland.
Abstract

The aim of this paper is to critically analyse policy and practice developments in England since 2008 and to locate them in their social and
political contexts. The paper will draw on research carried out by the author to be published in a book in 2014. It will be argued that the
impact of the economic downturn, high profile child abuse scandals and the election of a Conservative led Coalition government in 2010 have
had a major impact on child protection policy and practice. The period has witnessed to increases in: applications to court; the number of
children with child protection plans; in the numbers of children in care; and the level of child and family poverty and deprivation. There have
been major cutbacks in all areas of public services and at the same time fundamental changes to 'open up' such services to privatization. At
the same time the government has put a a new priority on increasing the number of children in care being adopted. Taken together - and in
the context of the other changes in policy for children and families - it will be argued that such developments point to important changes to
the way child protection policy and practice is being organised and that this is most usefully characterized as a move towards an authoritarian
neoliberal state.

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