Social care inevitably overlaps with many other chapters in this book because its service provision is at the core of children’s lives and there is no intention to duplicate or encroach into areas covered elsewhere. To this end, I address the policy context of social care, examine issues pertaining to systems and service integration, multi-agency working and the piloting of new ‘Social Work Practice’ models. Given the vast remit of social care, it is not possible to cover all children’s lived experiences of Every Child Matters (ECM) in one chapter. I have chosen, therefore, to focus on one group of children — looked-after children — first, because they are at the intense end of the user spectrum and, second, because they are frequently marginalized in terms of voice. Readers are directed to sources where they can find additional material in the Suggested further reading at the end of the chapter.
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