`A key text in the exploration of social, political and historical changes around child social care. It offers a broad overview of key themes in all areas and aspects of child care within the UK. It is an essential resource for students studying the degree in social work and will support and encourage their knowledge of fundamental issues' - Sarah Thomas, Programme Director BA (Hons) Social Work, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. This book offers an authoritative overview of child care policy and practice in the UK. It covers assessment and family support services, understanding child maltreatment and protection, the care of looked after children, including the contribution of adoption, foster and residential care, services for those leaving care and barriers facing disabled children and their families. Child Care Policy and Practice reflects the complexity and contested nature of children's needs, rights and interests and relationships between family and state. It analyses relevant debates and research and highlights practice issues and dilemmas. Readers are also directed to sources of further information on topics they may wish to explore in more depth. At the end of each chapter, there is guidance for further reading, resources for practice and questions for discussion. The book is aimed at social work practitioners and students, both qualifying and post-qualifying, at allied professionals working with children and families and at undergraduate students in Childhood Studies or Social Policy.