Children's homes have become notorious in the public imagination due to a succession of scandals and official inquiries. Despite this, very little attention has so far been devoted to the management of those who work in children's homes. This book originates from the first study of residential childcare in the UK by a team of management scholars. It explores both the models and practice of management in children's services found in local authorities across England and Wales. The volume combines investigation at sector level with fine-grained fieldwork in individual social services departments, chosen to represent the variety of local authority types and approaches to residential care. The aim is to understand the management of children's homes as a totality and thereby offer alternative solutions sensitive to the needs of those in care and the pressures on the public sector. The challenges of planning, managing child placement and developing staff, for example, are examined along with the influences that help create the distinctive form of management in residential childcare. The results will interest those concerned with the role of management in the public sector, including practitioners and policy makers. The book also speaks to the broader issues that confront all managers and organisations in the shape of the core problems of implementation, control and market relations.