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Title: Every child matters : a small scale enquiry into policy and practice
Author: Hough, Christine Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2741 8677
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: University of Cumbria
Date of Award: 2010
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1. This research study examines aspects of the effectiveness of the Every ChildlYouth Matters (ECMIYM) programme with regard to its implementation in 2006. Part 1 of the study explores the practical implications of ECM/YM for professional practice across the different welfare agencies, through a series of loosely structured interviews with managers, case workers and young offenders (aged up to 16 years). From an analysis of the data, using grounded theory approaches, three key findings were inducted. These findings suggested the following: I. A lack of consistency in the quality of targeted support provided by integrated services for the most vulnerable children and young people and their families; II. A lack of fine tuning in: a) the identification of vulnerability across different cohorts of children and young people, according to their changing circumstances; b) the ways in which information (about vulnerable children and young people) is shared and used across the different welfare agencies. 2. Reflection on these findings led to a further review of the literature that focuses on critiques of social policy. The analyses of research data within this domain suggest the limitations of social policy making that conforms to a linear, mechanistic approach, because it does not respond to individualised, local need. This suggests further that it is the policies themselves that account for the perceived lack of fine tuning identified in the above findings in part one of this research thesis. Therefore it was important, next, to capture data which drew on respondents' personal perceptions of welfare provision, which might endorse, or otherwise, those aspects in which part 1 of the study suggested that the ECM/YM agenda is failing, in some localities, to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children, young people and their families. 3. In part two of this study, further research was conducted through a series , of extended conversations with: male offenders (aged between 16 and 24 years); parents/partners of prisoners; managers from voluntary/not for profit organisations and senior multi-agency professionals. The data were analysed using a phenomenological approach. Overall, the findings suggest that a purely mechanistic, evidenced-based approach to providing welfare support for vulnerable children, young people and their families can result in negative outcomes when compared with a more contextualised, holistic approach.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: 360 Social services (policy, crime, welfare, community) ; 361 Social policy (care in the community, counselling) ; 362 Social welfare (Child abuse, youth work, ageing, disability, primary care, NHS)