This thesis reports on a study into the decision-making that takes
place within the six monthly statutory review of the cases of children
in the care or under the supervision of the Local Authority.
The research had four aims:
1. To develop a typology of review decisions whereby decisions
taken in reviews could be classified according to their salient
2. To ascertain the level of the subsequent implementation of
the decisions taken in reviews and to consider what factors
contribute to or hinder their implementation.
3. To identify the functions of statutory reviews and the perceptions
of the members of social work teams of the functions
appropriate to reviews.
4. To consider the role and the importance of statutory reviews
within the context of overall child care practice.
The empirical research was undertaken in three social work area
offices within one local authority. Information was gathered from almost
three hundred reviews. The researcher, having first read the case record,
attended two consecutive six-monthly reviews on the child. The social
workers involved in these reviews were questioned on their opinions on
reviews in general and on each review attended. Those 'researched'
reviews gave rise to almost nine hundred review decisions, which were
analysed according to the typology of decisions, and the level of their
subsequent implementation was assessed.
This study was designed as a policy-orientated study. Hence the
research is presented first, within the broad context of developments
in child care policy since the war, and second, in relation to the
literature on statutory sreviews arising both from research studies
and from policy documents. Furthermore, the concluding chapter
points to the policy implications that may be drawn from the research
findings, together with suggestions for policy changes.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.