This article reviews the first volume of the Journal of Children's Services. In doing so, it discusses broader directions and challenges in research, policy and practice. The article focuses on discussion about outcomes, the ‘idea’ of children's services and the impact of interventions on children's health and development. It welcomes reflections on different approaches to outcome measurement, analyses of the practicalities of implementing policy reforms and rigorous evaluations of the impact of Early Years, parenting and other programmes. At the same time, it suggests specific areas in which more work would be valuable, including: socio‐political commentary on policy developments; methods of and results from need analyses; empirical research on inter‐agency initiatives; how to improve the processes and structures that underpin good outcomes; transitions; and understanding ‘what works’ in research dissemination and utilisation. The value of international perspectives (including intra‐UK comparisons) is stressed. Forthcoming special editions on randomised controlled trials (RCTs) (2007) and anti‐social behaviour by young people (2008) will help to address other points raised.
Little, M. and Axford, N. (2007), "New directions, familiar challenges? A review of the first volume of the
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