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Who lives in children's homes and why? Who works there? How are the homes run? How effective are they? In this book, based on a three-year national research study, David Berridge and Isabelle Brodie examine the changes in structure and use of residential child care services over the last ten years. Beginning with a critique of the series of crises to have hit children's homes over the past decade (such as Pindown), the authors analyse the changing patterns of service use, developments in policy and the law, and general social factors affecting families. They consider findings from key research studies, interviews with managers in local authorities, staff and residents of homes, staying in each home for almost a week. The detailed account this provides forms the basis of their comprehensive analysis of the quality of care available and their recommendations for policy, practice, and the future management of children's homes.