There have been many books written on and about Every Child Matters (ECM) on a number of themes — political foci, critical practice, effective communication, early years’ perspectives — and a number of texts exploring aspects of multi-agency working. To the best of my knowledge, none have explored integrated children’s services specifically through the lens of the child. A principal aim in writing this text is to value and give voice to the perspectives of children and to illustrate the impact that ECM is having on their daily lives. This cannot be done in isolation, there has to be a framework in which to situate the lived experiences of children. Hence this volume necessarily depicts historical, theoretical and practice-based background canvases on which children have painted their own stories in a co-constructed platform of communication. Some children’s voices are direct and first voice, others are accessed through advocates or child-focused research.
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