chapter  4
28 Pages


ByDavid Cowan

This chapter shows the notion of appropriateness that was manipulated by the homelessness decision makers when confronted by the apparently changed priorities created by the Children Act 1989. The scheme of the Children Act 1989 built on the Child Care Act’s emphasis on prevention by prescribing a partnership between parents and the state. In introducing the Children Bill, the Lord Chancellor said that local authority ‘services to families in need of help should be arranged in voluntary partnership with the parents, and the children enabled to continue their relationship with their families where possible’. The public mood of lack of sympathy for families in difficulty and the support for authoritarian corrective action ‘for the sake of the children’ pushes social services departments more and more into a policing role where the overriding priority is to cope with the bombardments of child protection referrals.