The child and the family

  • Martin Herbert
Part of the Psychology for Professional Groups book series (PPG)


This chapter introduces the reader to some of the psychological information available for a psycho-social life span study: a matter of concern to the social worker who finds clients in all age groups, and is required to know about the life-tasks (developmental tasks) and the potential crises associated with childhood, adolescence, maturity and old age. These so-called ‘developmental crises’ are described in chapters 10 and 15. The purpose of the present chapter is to introduce you to an area of study on which social work places considerable emphasis, viz. ‘The child and the family’. When social workers arrange substitute care (foster home, day nursery, child minding) there is concern for the quality of such provision. However, this concern may be undermined by vaguely conceived (and even less rigorously assessed) parent-child attitudes and relationships. A critical examination of the literature (Herbert, 1974) indicates how many inconsistencies, even contradictions, there are.


Child Care Nuclear Family Foster Parent Maternal Behaviour Family Function 
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Further reading

  1. Manor, O. (ed.) (1984) Family Work in Action. London: Tavistock.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The British Psychological Society 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Herbert

There are no affiliations available

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