Forty Years of Research, Policy and Practice inChildren's Services - A Festschrift for RogerBullock
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Founded in 1963, Dartington Social Research Unit conducts scientific research into child development within the context of children?s services with a view to informing interventions for children in need. Originating from a festschrift to celebrate the work of Roger Bullock, one of Dartington?s first researchers and a Fellow of the Centre for Social Policy, this book from a prestigious author team examines developments in children?s services over the past forty years, providing a context for future policy making. Ten key areas are covered including foster care and family support, while two overview chapters explore ?40 years of Social Research? and ?Gaps in the Knowledge and Future Challenges?.


Nick Axford has been at Dartington since 1997 after working for the Shaftesbury Society in a family centre in London. He was jointly responsible for a Department of Health study on patterns of need and service use among children living in the community, and currently works on an evaluation of an innovative programme for disaffected young people, using a random allocation design. He is joint author of a review for the Department for Education and Skills of the literature on refocusing children’s services towards prevention, and has been closely involved in developing and implementing several practice tools with clinical and planning functions. In 2003 he completed a PhD on childhood social exclusion.

Vashti Berry joined the Dartington Unit in 2001 after working on the Equal Opportunities Policy Team at Northamptonshire County Council. Prior to this she was an academic tutor at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa. She is studying for a PhD on the differential effects of domestic violence and child abuse on children’s development, and working on a random allocation evaluation of a programme for young people who display antisocial behaviour. She has completed a small-scale study of asylum-seeking and refugee children and families in Ireland and co-authored best practice papers on user involvement and pre-school family support facilities.

Michael Little Building on an established research centre, Michael is co-founder with Roger Bullock of a collection of research, development and dissemination activities known as the Warren House Group at Dartington. At the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children he leads a study of child development in the context of residential education. An acknowledged expert on child protection, out of home care and youth justice Michael has also supported efforts to improve international networks of policy makers, managers, researchers and practitioners working with children in need. He holds appointments at the Universities of Bath and Chicago and is the author/joint author of 15 books and eight practice tools aimed at helping put research into practice.

Louise Morpeth moved to Dartington in 1997 after working for four years as a community health development co-ordinator with North Staffordshire Health Authority. She was jointly responsible for a Department of Health study on patterns of need and service use among children living in the community and has been involved in designing, implementing and evaluating new interventions, using need data gathered using Matching Needs and Services in a rural district in England. She has co-authored several practice tools aimed at getting research into practice, and in 2004 completed a PhD on the effects of the organisation of children’s services on outcomes for children in need.


List of Contributors.

About the Cover.



1. Introduction (Nick Axford, Vashti Berry, Michael Little and Louise Morpeth).

2. Then and Now (Roy Parker).


3. Forty Years of Educational Change (Ewan Anderson).

4. Children in Residence (Roger Clough).

5. Reforming Juvenile Justice (Henri Giller).

6. Young Offenders, Mental Health and Secure Care (Sue Bailey).

7. Stability through Adoption for Children in Care (June Thoburn).

8. Going Home or Staying Away (Ian Sinclair).

9. Child Protection (David Berridge).

10. The Evolution of Family Support (Michael Little and Ruth Sinclair).

11. Research into the Family Justice System (Mervyn Murch and Douglas Hooper).


12. European Developments in Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (Peter van der Laan and Monika Smit).

13. Creative Arts and Social Research (Roger Bullock).

14. Where Next for Social Research at Dartington? (Nick Axford and Louise Morpeth).

15. Messages for Research, Policy and Practice in Children’s Services (Nick Axford, Vashti Berry, Michael Little, Jill Madge and Louise Morpeth).

Appendix A: Roger Bullock – A Brief Biography.

Appendix B: Roger Bullock’s Main Publications.



"...provides a clear overview of the key issues in research, policy and practice in UK children's services since the 1960's." (Times Educational Supplement, 15th April,

"...the book is a delight...a useful library resource for the next generation of researchers, teachers and the makers of policy..." (Adoption & Fostering, Vol 29 (3) 2005)

"...This volume is a good demonstration of how knowledge is built and applied over a long time span. While its immediate focus is a tribute to a particular researcher, it casts light on the wider interactions between research, policy and practice..."(Research in Practice, Issue 55, August 2005)