The NSPCC in transition 1884-1983 : a study of organisational survival.
The framework within which the thesis is located is
the shift from the pre-eminence of the voluntary sector
in welfare provision in the nineteenth century to the
supremacy of the statutory services by the mid twentieth
century; a position which is now changing.
There are three sections, prefaced by a literature
review of' theories of change in voluntary organisations.
The concept of organisational growth, then formalisation,
and eventual death is challenged; the thesis is concerned
with ways in which a voluntary organisation seeks to ensure
The first section, 1884-1908, defines the problem of
child abuse within its social context, analyses the organised
response to it, and examines the early NSPCC with reference
to policing and early social work.
Section two, 1908-1948, explores changing relations
between the Society and the State. The early innovatory
work had become more formalised. The statutory services
were expanding into areas originally pioneered by the
Society. Attention is focussed on crisis and change within
the Society's work as it attempted to redefine its role.
In the final section, the post-war period, strategies
for survival are analysed. "New ideas" such as the Women
Visitor Scheme and the Battered Child Syndrome are discussed
as instrumental in the search for a new ima and a
continuing function for the agency.