State dilemmas in the provision of alternative care for children: Relative efficacy of public sector and independent sector foster placements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The population of children around the world who require alternative care outside of the natural family is staggeringly large. This presents fundamental dilemmas and challenges for every nation. This article notes how the United Kingdom's (UK's) response has evolved from that of a non-interventionist state to one that claims an interest in "Every Child". Attention is drawn to the way in which the State's "Third Way: What matters is what works" ideology has led to radical reform of public sector services and the widespread sub-contracting of alternative care for children to the independent sector. The article presents rare data on the relative performance of children in public sector as opposed to costly independent foster care. Contrary to expectations the data reveal minimal differences between the two groups. The data offer no justification, on the grounds of efficacy, for the use of independent sector provision as opposed to public sector provision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-334
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

Keywords

  • Alternative care
  • Foster care
  • Looked-after children
  • Public sector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Business and International Management

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