The recurrent themes found in the history of offical intervention in the lives of children and young people can be fairly simply stated. When, if at all, should official intervention occur? Which agencies should have the responsibility for taking on such intervention? What kind of intervention might be the most appropriate? What should be the extent of official intervention — under what circumstances, for instance, should a child be taken into care as opposed to receiving supportive assistance within the family? What differences and similarities are there between a child or young person whose life is adversely affected by parental neglect or cruelty, and one who has committed a criminal offence?
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