This paper is based on the Founder's lecture of the same title presented at the BASPCAN Congress, 'New Directions in Child Protection and Well-being', in April 2015 in Edinburgh. In a very schematic way, it attempts to critically review changes in child protection policies in the UK since the first BASPCAN Congress in 1991. It argues that while there are similarities, there are also important differences. The nature of the problems to be addressed has become both broader and more complex and this is reflected in developments in policy and practice. At the same time, the challenges for child protection have become increasingly politicised such that the narrative of professional and system failure has become more dominant and pervasive. This has the effect of deflecting political and policy attention from the size and nature of the social problems to be addressed. The paper concludes by considering the most recent developments and their possible impact including the statutory Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard. 'Attempts to critically review changes in child protection policies in the UK' Key Practitioner Messages: The changing political contexts are significant for the way in which practice is and can be carried out. In many ways, developments over the last 24years can be seen as a story of growing social awareness and progress rather than one of 'blame and failure'. 'Changing political contexts are significant for the way in which practice is and can be carried out'.