This chapter is about the transformation of personal social services in the 1980s and 1990s. After expanding and flourishing in the decade following the 1968 Seebohm Report, which advocated the integration of separate mental health, child care and welfare services, local authority social services departments were thrown on the defensive in the 1980s. At a time of rising demand for services, social services suffered from the general squeeze on public spending and local government. The seemingly endless stream of child abuse scandals had a damaging effect on social workers’ morale and confidence. The Children Act (1989) and the NHS and Community Care Act (1990) initiated a process of reorganisation around child protection and care in the community, characterised by some as a ‘revolution’ in social services. Continuing controversies about the balance between family support and intervening to protect children, and about the harsh realities of ‘needs-led’ assessment and allocation of resources in the community, suggest that the difficulties facing social services are far from being resolved.
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Selection, editorial matter, introductions and conclusion © Nick Ellison and Chris Pierson 1998 Individual chapters (in order) © Chris Pierson; Nick Ellison; Ruth Lister; Martin Hewitt; Paul Hirst; Noel Whiteside; Ailsa McKay; Sarah Nettleton; Stephen J. Ball; Mary Langan; Peter Malpass; Gillian Pascall; John Solomos; John Barry; David Piachaud; Michael Cahill; Laura Cram; 1998