Children and child welfare sit at the heart of New Labour's plans for social inclusion - but how does the government view 'children' - is it reflecting public opinion, or leading it? How does New Labour perceive 'child welfare'? What are the motivations behind, and objectives of, current social policy for children? Are the 'Rights of the Child' being subsumed under 'duties and responsibilities'? This revisionist account provides critical answers to these questions within a historical framework and from a child-centred perspective.The book not only offers a provocative account of contemporary policies and the ideological thrust behind them, but also provides an informed historical perspective on the evolution of child welfare during the last century.