Library Header Image
LSE Theses Online London School of Economics web site

Social change, social work, and the adoption of children

Teague, Alan John (1987) Social change, social work, and the adoption of children. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

[img] Text - Submitted Version
Download (7MB)


This thesis describes the development of legal adoption since 1926 and latterly Its Increasingly significant role as an alternative disposal for children in the care of local authority Social Services Departments. In achieving such prominence as a function of statutory social work, it is proposed that legal adoption can now be regarded as part of the panoply of ideological domination. This development is but one of a number of modifications of practice taking place within statutory social work. Pressures for change are seen to originate outside of the profession for the most part. To situate the study within the modern state, practice under the Poor Law after 1834 is reviewed. The developing legal position of children throughout the nineteenth century vis a vis their parents and the state, is also considered. Detailed description and discussion of the official discourse of legal adoption comprises much of the thesis. This consideration is mainly of official government reports proposing legislation, and the legislation itself, together with analysis of legal interpretation and the role of the High Court in determining social work practice. The development of statutory social work particularly with families and children since the second world war is outlined, with more detailed consideration given to what is 6een to be an increasing emphasis upon surveillance at the expense of assistance in relation to client families. The increasingly significant role of legal adoption within social work practice is seen to have been encouraged by recent inquiries into incidences of abuse of children "in care". Legal adoption should now be considered as only the most far reaching of several statutory social work procedures available in relation to children "in care", under the recently defined rubric "the permanence principle of social welfare". The local authority power to assume parental rights over children in its care is a second social work procedure which has also gained considerably in significance in recent years as an alternative means to "permanence". It is concluded that the trend towards negotiable parenthood is a powerful symbolic and instrumental force for an altered statutory social work practice, congruent with the aims and attitudes of contemporary ideological domination.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 1987 Alan John Teague
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics