The need for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to support evidence‐based services to improve outcomes for children is increasingly recognised by researchers and…
The need for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to support evidence‐based services to improve outcomes for children is increasingly recognised by researchers and policy‐makers. However, this brings a pressing requirement to build research capacity for conducting RCTs and to address the concerns of practitioners who may be suspicious about the method. This article reviews a variety of texts on the subject, ranging from analyses of the historical and political context of RCTs, to concise introductions of the key methodological and practical issues, to more in‐depth discussions of complex designs and statistics. The article seeks to help readers navigate these resources by focusing on seven questions that seem particularly salient for those considering whether and how to commission, undertake, participate in or use results from RCTs.
Like most western developed countries, there have been inquiries in England and Wales from time to time into the deaths of children who have been under the watch of social…
Like most western developed countries, there have been inquiries in England and Wales from time to time into the deaths of children who have been under the watch of social services or other agencies. These cases have led to significant reforms and contributed in part to the Children Act 1989, landmark legislation that has defined the state's involvement in the lives of children in England and Wales. The case of Victoria Climbié was particularly distressing. Born in the Ivory Coast, Victoria died just over eight years later from 128 separate injuries after being bound hand and foot in plastic bags and placed in a cold bath in an unheated bathroom, where she lay in her own urine and faeces, able to eat only what she could by pressing her face into a plate put beside her. In the 10 months that Victoria lived in England, she was known to seven local government departments, three specialist child protection teams and two hospitals.Herbert Laming chaired the inquiry into her death. His report (Laming, 2003) has underpinned a major overhaul of children's services. Building on the 1989 legislation, the government's vision for children's services Every Child Matters (DfES, 2003) and the ensuing Children Act 2004 promise a highly integrated, outcome‐focused approach to all children in England and Wales. In this interview, Lord Laming deals with the problems that led to the death of Victoria Climbié, before covering the contribution of the new legislation and its implications for practitioners, local and central government, inspectors and researchers. He ends with some reflections on the development of children's services during his involvement over 40 years and in the future. What follows is an edited transcript of Lord Laming's comments.
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…
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.
The government's vision for children's services in England and Wales, Every Child Matters (DfES, 2003), emerged from the debate following the report of the inquiry into…
The government's vision for children's services in England and Wales, Every Child Matters (DfES, 2003), emerged from the debate following the report of the inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié (Laming, 2003). The Children Act 2004 enshrined this vision in legislation, outlining the new statutory duties and clarifying accountabilities for children's services. The Directorate for Children, Young People and Families, located within the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), is the central government body charged with overseeing the implementation of the Every Child Matters reforms.Tom Jeffery is the Director‐General of the Directorate. In this interview, he argues that having a common set of outcomes is helping to make services less patchy and more coherent, and discusses the practical mechanisms being used to encourage local innovation within national guidelines and multiagency working centred around schools. He also reflects on the role of research in these developments and the efforts being made to improve training and career development for children's services practitioners. What follows is an edited transcript of Tom Jeffery's comments.
The purpose of this paper is to explore how new policies and standards to professionalise nightclub bouncing along with customer-oriented service imperatives affect…
The purpose of this paper is to explore how new policies and standards to professionalise nightclub bouncing along with customer-oriented service imperatives affect bouncers’ work practices and identities.
The paper is based on 13 months of ethnographic fieldwork among Danish bouncers and uses the concept of “emotional labour” and related ideas of “interactive service work” to explore how service imperatives play out at political/commercial and organisational levels and how such initiatives are negotiated by bouncers in their work practices.
Until recently, the nocturnal work of bouncers had been relatively unaffected by labour market service paradigms. This is now changing, as policy initiatives and the capitalist service economy colonise ever greater domains of the urban night and the work conducted here. We argue that trends towards professionalisation have landed bouncers in a double-bind situation, in which they are increasingly faced with competing and sometimes contradictory occupational imperatives requiring them both to “front up” effectively to unruly patrons and to project a service-oriented persona. We show how bouncers seek to cope with this precarious position by adopting a variety of strategies, such as resistance, partial acceptance and cultural re-interpretations of service roles.
While existing research on nightclub bouncers has primarily focussed on bouncers’ physical regulation of unruly guests, this paper provides a theoretical framework for understanding current policy ambitions to “domesticate” bouncers and shows how attempts to construct bouncers as civilised “service workers” is fraught with paradoxes and ambiguities.