Integrating children's services to promote children's welfare: early findings from the implementation of children's trusts in England

Margaret O'Brien, Max O. Bachmann, Chris R. Husbands, Ann Shreeve, Natalia Jones, Jacqueline Watson, Ian Shemilt

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17 Citations (Scopus)


As part of the reform of English children's services, children's trust pathfinders were launched in 2003 by the British government to promote greater inter-agency co-operation between children's services and professionals. This paper reports on early findings from a multi-method, longitudinal national evaluation of the implementation and impact of all 35 children's trust pathfinders. Using data from a 2004 survey of 35 children's trusts managers and in-depth interviews with 107 professionals conducted in 2005, results show strong endorsement of an integrated children's service vision. However, arrangements for co-operation on governance and strategic developments were more advanced than for procedural or frontline professional practice. In this transitional period, professionals were negotiating a balance between targeted and universal service provision and, concurrently, establishing the scope of formal strategic partnership bodies (including local safeguarding children boards) with potentially overlapping remits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-395
Number of pages19
JournalChild Abuse Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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