chapter  17
Care as a partnership (1): The evidence
Pages 9

This chapter suggests that bargaining is used in situations where a price is exacted from the parents; that is, the parent is expected to use the provision of care to increase the store of benefit for the child. Bargaining places the state in opposition to parents - and this make nonsense of the idea that, in voluntary cases, it is the task of social services to help rather than to interfere. Some link between partnership and voluntary care can almost be assumed, inasmuch as the child is in care with the parent's agreement and parental rights have not been transferred. To regard the relationship as one of partnership also makes it more acceptable from the point of view of liberal-democratic justice. The element of partnership is crucial to solving the family's problems; but in the face of closed ranks and family secrecy, the partnership with professional agencies becomes less viable and the danger to the child proportionately more.