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Support services for vulnerable families with young children

Armstrong, Clare and Hill, Malcolm (2001) Support services for vulnerable families with young children. Child and Family Social Work, 6 (4). pp. 351-358. ISSN 1356-7500

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Abstract

Preventive services for young children and their families have a long tradition at the interface of health, education and social work (Tizard et al. 1976; Holman 1988; Smith 1999). In the last 10 years those linked to social work services have largely been re-conceptualized in the UK as ‘family support’, though the precise meaning of that term remains somewhat elusive (Canavan et al. 2000; Higgins 2000). Services targeted on families with very young children are of particular interest, since the idea of ‘early intervention’ offers the prospect of helping vulnerable families before difficulties become too severe or entrenched. This principle underpins the British government's Sure Start programmes (Glass 1999).