How does residential care in England compare with that of other European countries? What is social pedagogy, and how does it help those working with children in care? How can child care policy and practice be improved throughout the United Kingdom? This book is written against the background of the gross social disadvantage suffered by most looked-after children in England. It compares European policy and approaches - from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands - to the public care system in England. Drawing on research from all six countries, the authors analyze how different policies and practice can affect young people in residential homes. A particular focus is on the unique approach offered by social pedagogy, a concept that is commonly used in continental Europe.The book compares young people's own experiences and appraisals of living in a residential home, and the extent to which residential care compounds social exclusion. Based upon theoretical and empirical evidence, it offers solutions for current dilemmas concerning looked-after children in the United Kingdom, in terms of lessons learned from policy and practice elsewhere, including training and staffing issues. Working with Children in Care is key reading for students, academics and professionals in health, education and social care who work with children in residential care.
Dr. Janet Boddy has been a researcher at the Thomas Coram Research Unit in London since 1997. Her background is in child psychology and her recent research has focused on studies of parenting, and on services for children and families, including studies of the residential care workforce and of parenting support, with funders including the UK Department of Health and The Home Office. Claire Cameron has been a researcher at Thomas Coram Research Unit since 1992. Before this she worked at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College. She read sociology and politics at Durham University and then trained as a social worker at Goldsmiths' College. She was employed as social worker in several local authorities before turning to research. She gained her PhD in 1999. Her main research interests are the childcare and the social care workforces, including gender issues, care work over the life course and comparative work, including pedagogy and residential care. Pat Petrie is Professor of Education at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. She has spent many years researching and writing about provision for children of all ages in the UK and abroad. Her major international research has been in school-age childcare, services for children in public care, the 'social pedagogy' approach to children's services, and the developing role of the school, in USA, Sweden. Valerie Wigfall has been a researcher at the Institute of Education since 1996. She has a degree in sociology from Sussex University, a professional social work qualification and Diploma in Social and Administrative Studies from the University of Oxford, and a PhD from University College London. At the Thomas Coram Research Unit, her work has focused largely on studies of the family, children and young people, with special reference to children in and leaving care.