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‘Every Child Matters’: The Shift to Prevention whilst Strengthening Protection in Children’s Services in England

By Nigel Parton


The publication of the Green Paper ‘Every Child Matters’ and the passage of the Children Act 2004 marks a significant shift in thinking about the organisation of children’s services in England. While the Government has presented the changes as a response to the Laming Report into the death of Victoria Climbie, they are much\ud more than this. The changes build on many of the ideas and policies the Government had been developing over a number of years, which emphasise the importance of intervening in children’s lives at an early stage in order to prevent problems in later life. This paper critically analyses the assumptions which underpin the changes and argues that the relationship between parents, children, professionals and the state are being reconfigured as a result and that the priority given to the accumualtion, monitoring and exchange of information takes on an increasing signicicance

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