Introducing Key Texts

For any professional today there is a massive amount to read – books, research, reports from the Government or a host of key quangos. It is easy to overlook the classic texts from the past, and yet they not only helped to shape today’s services but some of them are still extraordinarily up to date – a sign that in some ways we have not moved on as far as we might think we have.

It is often difficult to get hold of the key texts from the past, and some of them are quite weighty. So here we are offering a “digested read”. We have selected a score of texts, and they will be published at a rate of two a month. The digests will cover a standard pattern, setting the context of the text, describing its contents, analysing its impact then and its relevance now, and suggesting further reading.

We hope the series will be of use and interest to practitioners, students and any child care lecturers who need to acquaint themselves with child care thinking in earlier generations. We have called them “texts” because some are books, some are research reports, some are papers or chapters in books and one is a Government policy document.

we have tried to pick those which had an impact when they were published and which are still worth reading. Inevitably the choice is somewhat subjective, but any gaps can be remedied over time. If you have ideas of other texts which we should add, please let us know.

We have not included classic novels about children nor guides for parents – yet. So far, our selection has been books about services for children and young people or theoretical works on child care mainly written for a professional readership.

As this issue is focusing on Child Care History, this issue contains two historical texts. The digests prepared to date have been written by Robert Shaw, but if any reader wishes to contribute, please get in touch, to ensure that we have not already prepared a digest on the text in question.

We are pleased to announce that the series is sponsored by the Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care, and we are most grateful to them for their support.

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