Children’s psychological ‘needs’ are at the heart of contemporary public concern, part of the everyday vocabulary of countless numbers of social welfare workers and teachers, policy-makers and parents. Conceptualizing childhood in terms of ‘needs’ reflects the distinctive status accorded to young humanity in twentieth century western societies. It is widely regarded as a progressive and enlightened framework for working with children. It gives priority to protecting and promoting their psychological welfare, by contrast with former times and other societies, where adult priorities have centred more on children’s economic utility, their duties and obligations, rather than their needs, (Newson and Newson, 1974; Hoffman, 1987).