From Seebohm to Think Family: Reflections on 40 years of policy change of statutory children's social work in England

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This paper critically reflects upon the changes in the role, tasks and aspirations of local authority social work with children and families in England since the publication of the Seebohm Report in 1968. In particular, it analyses how far the current changes related to the Every Child Matters: Change for Children programme, The Children's Plan: Building Brighter Futures and the Think Family report will have the effect of either furthering or undermining the principles and ambitions set out in the Seebohm Report. It concludes by suggesting that while the aims of the current changes have much in common with those of the Seebohm Report, the roles and tasks of social workers have been recast. While social work can be seen as occupying a somewhat marginal role in the new arrangements and it functions on a much narrower terrain than that envisaged by Seebohm, at the same time its importance and contribution has been legitimated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-78
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jan 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2009


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