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User outcomes and children's services reforms : ambiguity and conflict in the policy implementation process.

Hudson, J. R. (2006) 'User outcomes and children's services reforms : ambiguity and conflict in the policy implementation process.', Social policy and society., 5 (2). pp. 227-236.


The reforms to children's services in the UK brought in by the Every Child Matters Green Paper and the subsequent Children Act 2004 represent the most significant change in this area of social policy since 1948. The policy approach has two distinguishing features – an ‘outcomes led’ approach rooted in the views of children and young people about what constitutes ‘wellbeing’ in their lives, and a partnership approach that recognises these outcomes can only be achieved through high levels of inter-agency and inter-professional working. This article suggests that the two features may be in tension, and that during the process of implementation there is a danger that user defined outcomes will be re-interpreted to fit in with other organisational and professional agendas. The analysis draws upon Rick Matland's framework for exploring the impact of conflict and ambiguity respectively upon the implementation process.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Themed section on Partnerships, Governance and Citizenship.
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Publisher statement:© Cambridge University Press 2005
Record Created:04 Aug 2008
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 09:44

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