This paper explores the idea of the local authority as a reluctant parent. It considers the extent to which this reluctance is produced by the care proceedings system and its consequences for children. Local authorities are both expected to refrain from intervening (care proceedings are a measure of last resort) and to be fully prepared for intervention (whilst leaving children with their parents). Amongst the themes which will be developed here are the impact of the juridification of social work and the emphasis on the courts for holding local authorities to account; the balance between voluntary accommodation and compulsory care; and the problems of resourcing care services. Its main focus will be on children who enter care because of abuse or neglect. Its thesis is that the conflicting expectations on local authorities, resource constraints, and considerations of legal process make them reluctant parents.
|Translated title of the contribution||The state as parents: The reluctant parents? Problems of parents of last resort|
|Pages (from-to)||52 - 74|
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Journal of Law and Society|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2008|