In most cases covered by the project, voluntary care was the result of an agreement between the agency and the legal parents. There are exceptions to this — for example where the child was abandoned or the legal parent could not be contacted, and social services received the child into care in the parent's absence. In theory, reception into care always happened at the request of a parent. Care could be offered by the social worker and accepted by the parent; and sometimes it was requested by the child. In general the social worker knew who had made the first move, and what the response of the other participants was. A major factor was the social worker's concern about home conditions. The number of initiatives taken by social workers suggests that this aspect of child-care is more proactive than is generally realised.