Changes in the production and consumption of welfare since the early 1980s have involved a shift from ‘mass, universal needs met by monolithic, bureaucratic/professional-led provision to the diversity of individual needs met by welfare pluralism, quasi-markets, reorganized welfare work and consumer sovereignty’. In partnership with parents has emerged as a key component of effective and ethical work in child care, its principles enshrined in the Children Act 1989 and the accompanying Guidance. In the Children Act 1989 and its associated Guidance, these professional and managerial perpectives were articulated with broader political concerns about the undermining of parental responsibility by welfare professionals. Care leavers are often expected to live independently at a much earlier age than other young people and are likely to receive less family support than young people who have not experienced family separation. Some of the young people with poor family relationships developed strategies to help them deal with their distress.