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Children, Family Responsibilities and the State

Craig Lind (Editor), Heather Keating (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-8301-7
192 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Children, Family Responsibilities and the State (1405183012) cover image
This book explores the growing interest in the way in which the state polices, and ought to police, families failing in their responsibilities.

  • Reflects on the increasing social science research and growing legal system involvement in the ‘problem’ of failing families particularly where children are involved
  • Considers topics ranging from the state’s attempts to promote responsible parenting by training parents and by punishing them and their children for their children’s antisocial behaviour through to its enthusiasm for creating frameworks for better substituted parenting (through fostering and adoption)
  • Evaluates problems from the perspective of both empirical evidence and the practical and ideological ambitions that government policy is attempting to pursue
  • Brings together commentators from a variety of disciplines who all offer a fresh critique on these matters
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1. Introduction: Responsible Parents and a Responsible State: Craig Lind and Heather Keating.

2. Adoption support and the negotiation of ambivalence in family policy and children’s services: Barry Luckock.

3. Making and Breaking Family Life: Adoption, the State and Human Rights: Sonia Harris-Short.

4. The state as parent: The reluctant parent? The problems of parents of last resort: Judith Masson.

5. Child Maltreatment in Diverse Households: Challenges to Child Care Law, Theory and Practice: Julia Brophy.

6. Perspectives on Parenting Responsibility: Contextualising Values and Practices: Val Gillies.

7. Holding Parents to Account: Tough on Children, Tough on the Causes of Children?: Laurence Koffman.

8. Youth Crime: Whose Responsibility?: Alex Newbury.

9. Governing Parenting: Is there a case for a policy review and statement of parenting rights and responsibilities?: Clem Henricson.

10. The ‘Change for Children’ Agenda in England: Towards the ‘Preventive-Surveillance State’: Nigel Parton

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Craig Lind is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex, Brighton.

Heather Keating is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Sussex, Brighton.


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  • Explores the growing interest in the way in which the state polices, and ought to police, families failing in their responsibilities and considers the swiftly developing government policy in this area
  • Reflects on the increasing social science research and growing legal system involvement in the ‘problem’ of failing families particularly where children are involved
  • Considers topics ranging from the state’s attempts to promote responsible parenting by training parents and by punishing them and their children for their children’s antisocial behaviour through to its enthusiasm for creating frameworks for better substituted parenting (through fostering and adoption)
  • Evaluates problems from the perspective of both empirical evidence and the practical and ideological ambitions that government policy is attempting to pursue
  • Brings together commentators from a variety of disciplines who all offer a fresh critique on these matters
See More

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