The Pursuit of Permanence: a Study of the English Care System

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


  • I Sinclair
  • C Baker
  • J Lee
  • I Gibbs


Publication details

DatePublished - 2007
Number of pages320
PublisherJessica Kingsley
Place of PublicationLondon
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)9781843105954

Publication series

NameQuality Matters in Children's Services Series


Permanent placements are an elusive goal for those working with children in public care. Breakdowns of placements can be traumatic for both the children concerned and their carers, and yet little is known about the detail of the care system - the kinds of children who are in it, and their views and experiences.
The Pursuit of Permanence is a based on the largest study of the English care system in recent years. It offers a wide-ranging overview of the whole placement process, including the children (who they are, what they need and what they want), their movements (where they enter and exit the care system), their placements (what these are and how effective they are), the outcomes (whether the children are settled or happy) and the underlying reasons for these points (why all this happens and turns out the way it does). The authors convey this complex information in an accessible style and offer recommendations based on their findings for how the care system should work, what it should offer and how it should be managed and inspected.
This seminal book is essential reading for all social work professionals working in fostering, adoption and children's services, as well as policy makers and students on social work courses.

    Research areas

  • looked after children, social work issues

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