A robust system of social justice Underpinning all discussions about children in care should be a focus on the wider questions of social justice and equality. Many of the more technical texts about the care system – which often have a focus on ‘damaged children and young people’ – tend to miss this fundamental issue about the care system. Children in care are, almost exclusively, children of the poor and marginalised. As Wilkinson and Pickett (2009) have persuasively demonstrated, inequality generates poor outcomes across a range of social indicators, and this is true of the care system as well. In fact the care system is in many ways a measure of social policy and attitudes towards children. Where children are undervalued and marginalised this is re ected in the nature of the care system – as we saw with the Rumanian orphanages under Communism. Where a child is valued and invested in we tend to nd caring and successful care systems – as in many Northern European countries.