Swings & Roundabouts in Child Care Policy & Practice Fifty Years 1948 -1998

 Barbara Kahan photo
Barbara Kahan OBE

Introduction
1998 was 50 years on from the date when post ward child care legislation took us out of the austere and chilly climate of the Poor Law in relation to needy children into a potentially warmer, kinder setting. The Children Act 1948 was part of a large post war legislative package which included major changes in education and the establishment of the NHS and laid the foundation for a modern child care service. Between 1948 and the 1980s so much additional legislation was added, dealing with adoption, preventive work, young offenders and many other issues that by 1983 a Parliamentary Select Committee was given the task of examining it and recommending future action. It had become so complicated that practitioners and others were handicapped in its use and interpretation.

I was privileged to act as adviser to that Select Committee - an experience which enabled me to see MPs working in a more constructive cross party team than is ever visible in the noisy interchange of the House of Commons itself.

The Children Act 1989 was the result of the Select Committee's deliberations and was also much influenced by the Cleveland Inquiry and latterly, actually while in its passage through Parliament, by abuse scandals in boarding education. It now forms the structure within which child care services operate increasingly geared to the sharp end of problems rather than to the broader approach which includes preventive work.

Residential Care - Swings and roundabouts in child care policy and practice in substitute child care

There are basically two major kinds of substitute care - residential care and foster care.

Residential Care

Children's Officers, in 1948, inherited archaic residential establishments - some appalling - others not too bad by the standards of the time. Their task was to change those which were retained and to open fresh ones modelled on a child centred concept - smaller scale, better staffing, training for staff, focus on individual children's needs including better food, clothing, pocket money, activities, holidays, as much like other children as possible. Centuries of prejudice against the "undeserving poor" met the campaigning fervour and innovatory approaches of a new breed of staff in local government - and some very considerable and desirable changes were made in spite of many mistakes. A large home then was 30 beds; family units of 8-10 were common; residential nurseries in Poor Law buildings were closed; training courses were set up nationally for residential staff even before those for field social workers.

Foster Care

There was, however, from the start a built in prejudice against group care in the Children Act 1948. Although there was little research available in the 1940s one way or the other, the Curtis Committee had decided that in their view foster care was much better for children in care because it was more like family life - and they strongly recommended it. Nevertheless they urged that it should be used with discretion and that if a child had to change foster homes more than once or twice it might be better if he had not been fostered at all because of the damage suffered from change and rejection.

In spite of this when their report was embodied in law an emphasis was put on fostering such that group care should only be used if it were impractical or unsuitable for the time being to use a foster home. Considerable pressure was put on Children's Departments in the 1950s by the Home Office Inspectorate to "board out" (foster) and by the early 1960s breakdown rates had become so high that the Children's Officers set up a research study themselves. They found that insufficient choice was being offered and that a better balance between residential and foster care was needed. Some of the pressure from Central Government had undoubtedly been fuelled by a Select Committee on Estimates in 1950 which urged that fostering should be used as much as possible since not only was it best - but it was also cheaper! There is still a strong economic motivation, I believe, amongst policy makers although research can now demonstrate that the thinking behind this assumption is frequently flawed.

 Before 1969 there was a separate residential system, in which most establishments were large by comparison with child care units elsewhere - the approved school system mainly for young offenders. This was quite separate from the local authority service and subject to different management and different inspection by the Home Office. It was strongly male dominated, generally authoritarian in its climate, and a direct descendant of the former reformatories. Some schools were better that that suggests - but some were schools in which thrashing was common - some are now seen to have been centres in which other forms of abuse were also not uncommon.

By 1969 various strands of thinking and pressure groups concerned that there should be a better way of dealing with young offenders resulted in the Children & Young Persons Act 1969 which brought the approved schools, much against their wishes in many cases, into the local authority child care service. They proved to be difficult establishments to manage, accustomed to having their own Board of Governors, accountable direct to the Home Office, not through a local authority Chief Officer, and with the Heads often being paid as much, if not more than their new bosses, the Children's Officers - a difficult situation on both sides.

 FACULTY OF HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL STUDIES

SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW
(Making Research Count)
£23,184 - £30,636 pro rata per annum
(3 or 4 days per week)

An experienced trainer/child welfare researcher is required to work on this important national initiative, which aims to bring together more effectively the worlds of social work practice and research. MRC is operated by leading researchers in five universities (East Anglia, Keele, London, Luton and York.) Each develops close links with social service departments in its region with the intention of making practice more evidence-based.

An enthusiastic and hard working individual, therefore, is required to collaborate closely with local authorities in the Luton regions, identify research-related training needs and organise workshops and other inputs. The successful applicant will be closely supported and join a lively department with 15 social work and social policy researchers.

Applicants will:

* Have a social science honours degree or equivalent
* Be familiar with child welfare research findings and approaches
* Have strong communications and training skills

This is a one year fixed term contract. An extension to the contract is subject to continued funding and positive progress.

For an informal discussion please contact David Berridge, Professor of Child and Family Welfare on (01582) 743092/743084 or e-mail david.berridge@Luton.ac.uk

An application form and further details are available from the Recruitment Administrator, Personnel Department, University of Luton, Park Square, Luton, Beds, LU1 3JU. Telephone 01582 743376 (24 hour answering service) or e-mail employment.opportunities@luton.ac.uk

Please quote reference no: HU 1636 and job title

Closing date: Wednesday 22 March 2000

Interview date: Friday 14 April 2000

The schools were renamed Community Homes with education on the premises (CHEs). A year or two later the implementation of the Seebohm Report in 1970 brought together Children's Departments along with Welfare Departments and other divided welfare services in local authorities into Social Services Departments and the former approved schools with them.

Meanwhile in the Home Office Children's Department action had been taken to try to help these residential establishments to change, and become more like the kind of service local authority child care had been trying to provide. A Development Group was set up and carried out a great deal of work to improve residential child care across the board. Care and Treatment in a Planned Environment was a major report of this project.
Recently a book called "Child Care Revisited: Children's Departments 1948-1971" by Bob Holman has been published. His objective views of what children's departments achieved is summed up in 6 points:-

  • They were a great improvement on what had preceded them.
  • They provided a form of care which was personal in its approach to children.
  • They restored many children to their natural parents.
  • They encouraged and facilitated the growth of trained staff.
  • They established that local authorities could run an efficient, caring and personal service.
  • They helped to push some of the older voluntary agencies into achieving change too.
Their limitations included
  o inadequate numbers of staff
o inadequate choices of substitute care
o too few qualified residential staff
o too little care and support for care leavers - and over 18s
o failure to tackle ethnic issues.


Nevertheless Bob Holman believes that between 1948 and 1971 child care services were revolutionised.

The new Social Services Departments were established in 1971. They had only been in action for 3 years when the reorganisation of local government, in 1974, threw the whole situation up in the air again. There were major upheavals which led to fewer and much larger departments, very long management structures, sometimes 7,8,9 layers from the top to the bottom - with consequent communication and other related problems.

By this time, too, the short period of resources affluence which Social Services initially experienced was coming to an end - and the strong swing against residential care, temporarily abated, began again. The permanency movement in the United States, which, without doubt, had an economic element in it, was popular in Britain and the build up to promote foster care as an almost universal panacea with a much reduced residential sector only to be used as a last resort was beginning.

This was reinforced by the factor of changes in operational organisation of social work and in training. Operationally many departments adopted a version of Seebohm's philosophy which Lord Seebohm always said his committee did not intend. This system insisted on most social workers carrying generic caseloads - i.e. something of everything - a few elderly people, mentally ill, disabled, children and young people - a kind of social work general practice - only without the specialist services available to GPs in medicine.

At the same time by about 1974 all the former specialist training courses were closed and became generic. It is worth spending a minute of two to unpick that because I believe it has had a very major impact on many developments since.

Before 1974 there were quite a large number of courses which taught child care field social workers and other courses which trained people for residential child care. Some were 2 years in length and while short enough, they nevertheless concentrated for 2 years on the knowledge base, theory and practice about children and young people and for residential care.

When these courses were changed - the time available for training was not increased. Instead, students were expected to train in relation to the total spectrum of age groups and problems which Social Services exist to serve. Similarly, instead of courses with an emphasis and special experience and knowledge of residential work being available, some of which had been very valuable, people wishing to train for residential care had to do so on the same course as field social workers. After 25 years of this it is now widely acknowledged that major changes are needed and that neither field nor residential staff currently receive the length or depth of training needed for the intensely difficult tasks and problems they have to tackle. The residential staff have particularly missed out.

The years from the mid 1970s onwards have seen a steady decline in residential child care provided by local authorities and large national voluntary organisations. Most of the former approved schools have closed down - and there has been very little established to take their place.

The consequences have been that foster care has been used to an extent which, I believe, has been unrealistic and has led to many problems, including lack of choice, frequent moves of children from place to place, and consequent instability damaging to their education, mental health and self regard.

Numbers of children "looked after" or "accommodated" have also fallen dramatically - and the present position is approximately 50,000 in total "looked after" of whom less than 8,000 are in residential care - most of i
t provided in units of less than 10 beds.

Child Abuse

Children's Departments between 1948-1970 had dealt with cases of cruelty, physical abuse, incest (as we often called it) - and children who suffered a wide range of abuse from families in particular. The Children's Officers Association began to collect cases of abuse which they were concerned should be better understood - through their National Bulletin in the 1960s. Under the Children and Young Persons Act 1963 it was the duty of Children's Departments to investigate cases in which a child appeared to have been neglected or was suffering harm.

 
Advertisement

Child Sexual Abuse in Victorian England

Dr. Louise A. Jackson
Pub. Routledge
Great difficulty was sometimes experienced in getting doctors, police, and lawyers to believe what was happening. There was not much clarity about what might be happening in group care - the kind of thing which Fred Fever describes in his book as we now know undoubtedly happened - and I personally had so much unease about the kinds of regimes in approved schools that in the authority I was serving we somehow managed to persuade the courts not to send children to approved schools but to commit them to our care.


But there was little public discussion about abuse - other than scandals about excessive corporal punishment - e.g. in Court Lees Approved School, - and the occasional knowledge of someone being moved on for sexually inappropriate behaviour to boys or girls.

We now know from disclosures leading to an immense amount of inquiry work of various kinds that sexual abuse - accompanied by other forms of abuse was widespread in some residential settings. Its incidence in foster care was unknown and is only now beginning to be looked at.

By the 1960s the concept of non-accidental injury was slowly penetrating our national consciences. Dr Kempe in the United States had been leading the way - his book "The Battered Child" published in Chicago and London in 1968 - was a bench mark. He set the tone of debate and some of the messages given included:-
  • All 50 states of the US had passed laws providing for mandatory reporting of suspected cases of child abuse - it was claimed that "tens of thousands of children were severely battered or killed in the USA in 1967"
  • Many parents consider children have a duty to satisfy the parents' emotional needs.
  • A multidisciplinary approach was essential to dealing with abuse - e.g. paediatricians, social workers, lawyers, police.
  • Over the centuries parents have been considered to have a right to beat their children.
  • Over the centuries children have been victims of mutilation processes - e.g. of sex organs, foot binding, cranial deformation, - often for purposes of begging - still not uncommon in some parts of the world.
  • Infanticide used to be the right of parents - 80% of illegitimate children put out to nurse in London during the 19th century died. This was the origin of legislation called "Child Life Protection". Not till 1908 was visiting of such cases required.
  • Well known story of the first case taken to court by the NSPCC - on the basis that the child was a member of the animal kingdom - because there was no law to protect children - only animals.

The "Battered Child" Syndrome which Kempe identified was a discovery due to paediatric X-ray in 1946 - by 1955 trauma wilfully inflicted was noted.

 

In 1961 Dr Kempe conducted a symposium on the problem of child abuse at the American Academy of Paediatrics and the "Battered Child Syndrome" became part of our knowledge base.

I have a very vivid recollection of trying to persuade both police officers and general practitioners that some of the cases my department was referring were "non-accidental" and experiencing open scepticism and reluctance to act in some instances.

By the late 1960s messages were percolating through from the US again about recognition of sexual abuse of children. It was predictable that it would be as difficult to gain credibility for sexual abuse of children as it had been for non-accidental injury.

It proved to be so.

Russell House Publications are distributers of specialist books aimed at those employed in or with an interest in the care and education of children. Click below to see their extensive range of publications

 


I did a small literature search recently for some current work I was engaged in. I could find little explicit discussion of sexual abuse until late 1970s/early 1980s. But two well known books by English writers made the problem clear -

 

  David Wills - "Spare the Child" - 1971 - reported gross and widespread sexual abuse between boys in the Cotswold Approved School.

Royston Lambert - "The Hothouse Society" - 1968 - demonstrated that sexuality is a major issue in one sex schools. A notable example in the book was of a housemaster getting his spectacles to enable him to watch the boys more clearly while they showered!
Although sexual abuse was not recognised as a major problem for children's service providers until the 1980s, the position now, as we all know, is that -
  1. We recognise 90% of abuse takes place in children's own homes - or is carried out by people they know.
  2. We now recognise that not only has sexual abuse been going on in residential settings, children's homes, boarding schools, hospital units - for a long time - but that we have to accept it also takes place in a variety of other places -
A few examples are:-

foster homes, day nurseries, sports training activities, religious activities, scouts.

The perpetrators include:

priests, sports coaches, doctors, teachers, nurses, directors of social services, trainee nursery nurses, volunteers - the range is as wide as the opportunities for adults to have unprotected access to children.

We are now so concerned about the problem that our media regard it as hot news; paedophiles are at risk in communities and have to have police protection; and in practical terms very considerable amounts of time and resources are being consumed daily in police, social services and residential settings including in carrying out agreed procedures which arise as soon as "an incident" occurs. This may be a serious assault, or may also be an example of the age related experimentation which goes on between young people - particularly in circumstances where they are under continuous monitoring such as boarding schools or children's homes.

What have we learned?

In my bullet points given to assist the programme notes I undertook to suggest some of the lessons we have learned from the past - from inquiries, research and victims' experience.

When I started going through my collection of reports, books and documents gleaned over the years, particularly from the 1980s and 1990s - I rapidly filled a Sainsbury shopping box with inquiry reports (one of my ways of keeping sane in a flood of paper) - and in the short time available I can only pick out one or two points which may be helpful today.
A list of selected publications and events which may be a useful reminder of how much there is, is attached to this paper.

Messages from Inquiries

I am going to draw briefly from 4 sources:-
  1. The Department of Health report on inquiries - 1973-81
  2. The Pindown Experience and the Protection of Children 1991
  3. Leicestershire Inquiry 1992
  4. Newcastle Inquiry 1998
     
The following are pointers to the reports' findings.

Child Abuse - A Study of Inquiry Reports 1973 - 1981

Para 2.2 "The general picture of practice emerging from the reports is not of gross error or failures by individuals on single occasions but of a confluence or succession of errors, together with the adverse effects of circumstantial factors beyond the control of those involved." These included training and experience, supervision, staffing and recruitment, accommodation and administrative support and the impact of three major reorganisations.

Messages about children:
  • A child's demeanour may or may not provide a clue
  • Sometimes children tell someone of abuse directly though not necessarily a professional
  • A child's message may not be clear, for a variety of reasons, not least because children are inclined to give up if their messages are not well received.
  • Children cannot be relied upon to challenge explanations offered by parents or parent figures especially when the latter are present.
  • Sometimes children may try to communicate through actions rather than words (e.g. running away).
  • Direct communication with children is extremely important - but may be difficult when they have conflicting and fluctuating feelings.
     
Evaluation of complaints:

Sometimes difficult to assess.

Need to be promptly and thoroughly investigated.

Co-ordination important.
  Para 2.62 Communication: "Every report reveals problems in some aspect of communication between individuals and agencies."

Para 2.66 Recording: "Efficiency in recording, transmitting and storing information is an essential and integral part of professional practice."

Para 2.67 "simply writing things down is not enough - what is recorded must preserve all relevant information in an unambiguous form."
Accessibility of records,

Storage (filing going missing),

Proper use of records were also issues of note.

Pindown 1991
  • Staff selection - little understanding of the nature of the task by managers - "sloppy" internal promotion.
  • Measures of control - inadequately monitored and scrutinised.
  • Inadequate recording of daily events.
  • External visitors - should have previous six monthly reports available beforehand. Some visits should be made without notice.
  • Need for designated source of information about possible sex offenders to be available at any time.
  • Check on people taking young persons in lodgings (a sex offenders' opportunity).
  • Proper complaints procedure for staff, foster parents and children.
  • Residential homes advisers - to have appropriate experience and training.
  • Adequate supervision system.
  • Strategy of training - managers who were critical of practice had been frowned on.
  • Residential work was undervalued and its objectives not clear.
  • Inadequate numbers of staff for the task - one member of staff alone on duty at night.
  • Selection methods should include means of revealing character, personality, knowledge and skills.

The Leicestershire Inquiry 1992

  • Inadequate staff selection.
  • Inadequate attention to available knowledge and expertise related to therapeutic methods.
  • Management thought it was getting expensive methods "on the cheap".
  • Absence of policy of openness and good child care.
  • "Woolly" management style in care branch.
  • Records poor - communication poor - no impetus for change.
  • Roles and purposes of residential units - unclear and not defined.
  • No strategic approach to provision of residential care.
  • Inadequate attention to training.
  • Ineffectual monitoring of Children's Homes.
  • Warning signs not heeded.
  • Management vacuum.
  • Complaints did not prompt effective action.
  • A general predisposition not to believe children.
  • Over valuing of the trained manager Frank Beck (compare also Tony Latham in Pindown) - scarce commodity - "don't upset him".

Newcastle 1998 - Abuse in Early Years

  • Training. Records of training people to work with children should be retained for long periods.
  • Possibility of abuse should be included in syllabus for nursery and early years training courses.
  • Training and recruitment. Clear comprehensive framework of qualifications across whole sector - and child protection to be taken into account in:

    education and training, recruitment, vetting, selection and employment of child care workers and training to be given about how abusers "groom" children
  • All candidates for jobs should fully complete an application form - with full details - including criminal convictions.
  • Staffing records should be kept meticulously showing clearly where staff have worked.
  • All disciplinary papers should be retained in personnel files - even when results spent.
  • Internal promotions should be subjected to same rigorous scrutiny as external appointments.
  • The Pigot report should be more fully implemented and legal system be less adversarial in relation to children.
  • Need for "whistle blowing" charter.
  • Possibility of abuse by female as well as male staff should be explored in in-service training for professionals within ACPC area (Area Child Protection Committee) area.

Victims Perspective

May be presumptuous of me to attempt to offer this but nevertheless it may be helpful:

  • Much of our knowledge of how victims perceive abuse during the time it is happening comes from evidence like police statements, records of interviews and inquiries. Some of those abused out of home situations were there because they had been abused at home - others placed for quite minor reasons - or because they needed care.

    Feelings of betrayal, fear, shock and devastation are common. For young children fight or flight is not an option. At home - fears may include break up of the family - need to protect younger children or mother.
  • Physical pain is common - with physical results like bleeding, piles, bruising.
    Humiliation - disgust.
    Difficulty in describing what has happened.
    Mental pain accompanying physical pain and disgust.
    Powerlessness.
  • Despair, anger, revulsion, depression, loneliness and helplessness. Fred Fever's book page 47. "The pain of rape/sexual abuse goes not only through the body and mind but reaches down into the depth of your soul."
  • Transferred fault -
    Tim Tate in Child Pornography - an Investigation
    A child molester told US Senate Enquiry -
    "Do they cry or fight off my advances? Usually not. Remember in the child's mind they think they are as guilty as I am. They think other … boys and girls don't do this, so they must not be good children. They are overwhelmed with shame much of the time and simply comply with the wishes of the adult."
  • Long term effects can include:
    frightened of having own children
    nightmares
    cannot work with men or e.g. share showers, cells in prison
    cannot work in a team
    uncertain of own sexuality
    anti-authority, lose jobs and opportunities as a result
    long term physical problems e.g. internal piles
    inability to tell anyone for years the terrible secret - including wives.
    Recently there has been The Government's Response to the Children's Safeguards Review, November 1998.

    Children's Safeguards Review recommendations include:
     

Regulatory issues -

Regulate all small private children's homes.

Regulate all independent fostering agencies.

Register and approve all private foster carers.

Extend welfare inspection (1989 Act) to all boarding schools
(revise dual registration as a school and a home for some.).

Simplify complaints and closure procedures for Independent Schools.

Protect disabled children in care homes, nursing homes and hospices.

Establish General Social Care Council to regulate professionals. (Most of these are either now in train or subject of proposals.)

Further very recent items for the list of publications and events are:

Protection of Children Bill - Debate on 26 Feb 1999

Home Office - Interdepartmental Working Group on Preventing Unsuitable People Working with Children and Abuse of Trust - 25 Feb 1999

Home Office Draft Guidance on Children Involved in Prostitution - 17 Dec 1998

Modernising Social Services - Dept of Health - Services for Children, protection, quality of care, improving life chances.

Some solutions for central and local government - relevant professional groups - training bodies.

I have already indicated many of these in ground covered already -

To summarise:

Central Government should -

  1. Carry out Response to the Utting report
  2. Improve social work and residential care training
  3. Provide strong inspection capability
  4. Build on new initiative of listening to children and young people
  5. Encourage in various ways interdisciplinary training
  6. Fund research on paedophiles and related issues

Local Government should -

  1. Redress the seriously flawed approach to residential child care - not just their own - but its use generally, including taking training seriously.
  2. Use proper staff selection including multi faceted selection process
    o contacting previous employers
    o rigorous vetting checks.
  3. Be more realistic about the capacity of fostering.
  4. Develop joint training and activities between residential staff and foster carers.
  5. Insist on managerial posts involved in decision making and monitoring residential care having appropriate experience and training.
  6. Carry out realistic costings of various methods of care (see Martin Knapp's research - on true costs).
  7. Insist on proper communication between field and residential social workers.

Professional Groups

  1. Within social work the often unthinking prejudice against group care needs to be confronted.
  2. Social workers need to press for better training facilities - e.g. at least an extra year and more post qualifying training and training in understanding and addressing some specific areas of interpersonal behaviour - e.g. heterosexual sexuality in cohabitation, children's sexuality, knowledge of sexual aberrations.
  3. Development of specialist resources for supervision and staff development whilst in post.
  4. Development of interdisciplinary activities and understanding
    o between doctors, lawyers, social workers, teachers, nurses, police
  5. Development of greater understanding between social workers and teachers.

Training

  1. Many of the previous points imply development of various kinds of training - both full time and within the context of working jobs.
  2. Trainers selecting students need to be selecting as rigorously as staff in post should be selected.
  3. When these various changes are taking place - it is important to carry the trainers with them. Currently some trainers in social work perpetuate old prejudices against group care - and sometimes lack understanding of the context in which people do their work.

Note to readers

This paper has attempted, probably unwisely, to scan a very wide field. It has inevitably dealt very briefly with many points which deserve much fuller discussion. Any bias is therefore the responsibility of the writer. It includes some material which had been prepared but due to shortage of time had to be omitted from the spoken delivery.



Appendix to the above paper given at the inaugural conference of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, Cambridge University, 1999

 

"FIFTY YEARS" SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS IN CHILD CARE
(with particular relevance to child abuse)
POLICY AND PRACTICE

BARBARA KAHAN OBE

 1945 Report of Sir Walter Monckton QC on the death of a foster child Dennis O'Neill (Shropshire)
 1946 Report of the Care of Children Committee (Curtis Report)
 1948 Children Act
 1950 Children Neglected and Ill treated in their own home Joint Circular Home Office, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education
 1952 Children & Young Persons (Amendment) Act
 1961 Symposium at American Academy of Paediatrics conducted by Dr C. Henry Kempe on the "Battered Child Syndrome"
 1963 Children & Young Persons Act
 1968 "The Battered Child" edited by Ray E. Helfer and C. Henry Kempe - University of Chicago Press Chicago and London
 1968 "The Hothouse Society" Royston Lambert (a study of boarding school life)
 1969 "Residential; Care - Castle Priory Report (published by professional child care associations)
 1969 Children & Young Persons Act
 1970 Local Authority Social Services Act (implementation of the Seebohm report)
 1971 "Spare the Child" David Wills (Cotswold Community)
 1971 Care and treatment in a Planned Environment - Report of the Community Homes Project - Home Office Children's Department
 1973 Committee of Inquiry into the death of Graham Baynall (Shropshire)
 1974 Committee of Inquiry into the death of Maria Colwell (East Sussex)
 1975 Committee of Inquiry - Stephen Meurs (Norfolk)
 1975 Committee of Inquiry - John Auckland
 1975 Committee of Inquiry - Lisa Godfrey (Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham)
 1975 Committee of Inquiry - Richard Clark
 1976 Committee of Inquiry - Neil Howlett
 1977 Committee of Inquiry - Wayne Brewster (Somerset)
 1978 Committee of Inquiry - Karen Spencer (Derbyshire)
 1978 Committee of Inquiry - Stephen Menhenniott
 1979 Committee of Inquiry - Darryn Clarke
 1979 Committee of Inquiry - Lester Chapman (Berkshire & Hampshire)
 1981 Committee of Inquiry - Maria Mehmedazi (Southwark, Lambeth and Lewisham)
 1982 Committee of Inquiry - Lucy Oates (Bexley)
 1984 Report of Inquiry - Jasmine Beckford (London Borough of Brent)
 1985 Kincora Inquiry - Northern Ireland
 1986 Draft guidance on "Working Together" DHSS
 1987 Report of Inquiry Kimberly Carlisle (London Borough of Greenwich)
 1987 Report of Inquiry - T.Henry (London Borough of Lambeth)
 1987 Report of Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland. Chair Rt.Hon.Lord Justice Butler-Sloss
 1988 "Working Together" DHSS
 1989 Castle Hill School Investigation (Shropshire)
 1989 Crookham Court School Investigation (Berkshire)
 1989 Children Act (to be implemented in 1991)
1989  Publication of updated "Working Together"
 1990 "Child Pornography - An investigation Tim Tate (Methuen)
 1990/91 Publication of Children Act 1989 Regulations and Guidance
Volume 4 - Residential Care
Volume 5 - Independent Schools
 1991 The Pindown Experience and the Protection of Children - Allan Levy QC and Barbara Kahan (Staffordshire)
 1991 Child Abuse - A Study of Inquiry Reports 1980-1989 Department of Health
 1991 "What we know and don't know" - Residential Care for Children - Roger Bullock, Dartington Social Research Unit
 1991 Ty Mawr Community Home Inquiry - Gareth Williams QC and John Mcready
 1991 The Right to Complain - Practice Guidance on Complaints, Department of Health
 1991 Working with Child Sexual Abuse - Guidance for Trainers and Managers in SSDs Department of Health
 1991 Children in the Public Care - Sir William Utting (Response to Pindown)
 1991 Reviews of Children's Homes in Scotland (Response to Pindown)
1991/92 Investigation concerning St.Charles Youth Treatment Centre SSI Department of Health
 1992 The Leicestershire Inquiry - Andrew Kirkwood QC
 1992 "Choosing with Care" Report of the Warner Committee on Staff Selection
 1992 A Review of Malcolm Thompson's Employment for the Sheffield City Council 1977
 1992 Inquiry into Suicides in Feltham - Chair Anthony Scrivenor QC
 1993 Evaluating Performance in Child Protection - Social Services Practice and Systems, SSI and Department of Health
 1993 "Not Just a Name" The Views of Young People in Foster and Residential Care - National Consumer Council
 1993 Report of Inspection of the Youth Treatment Service - SSI/Department of Health
 1993 "A Place Apart" - An investigation into the handling and outcomes of serious injuries to children and other matters at Aycliffe Centre for Children, County Durham SSI/Department of Health
 1993 Residential Care for Children - A Review of the Research, Department of Health
 1994 Multiple abuse in Nursery Classes - Inquiry in Newcastle Upon Tyne
 1994 "Growing up in Groups" Barbara Kahan HMSO
 1994/95 "Banged Up, Beaten Up, Cutting Up" - Violence in Penal Institutions for Teenagers under 18 - Helena Kennedy QC
  Undated, Working with Child Sexual abuse - Guidelines for Training Social Services Staff - training and support Programme (Child Care) Department of Health
 1995 "Child Abuse in Wales" Miss Nicola Davies QC
 1995 Inquiry in the Management of Child Care in Islington, Ian White CBE and Kate Hart
 1997 "People Like Us" Sir William Utting (Children's Safeguards Review)
 1998 Abuse in Early Years - Report of the Independent Complaints Review Team on Shieldfield Day Nursery and Related Matters - Newcastle Upon Tyne
  National Children's Bureau Highlights (Research and Practice) summaries of child care matters include:
 1973 No.7 Non-accidental injuries in children
 1982 No.50 Child Sexual Abuse and Incest
 1988 No.80 Child Abuse
 1993 No.119 Child Sexual Abuse
 1995 Nos.113&134 Introduction to Residential Child Care Parts I and II
 1998 No.159 Child Abuse and Child Protection in Residential Care